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Full text of "Annals of the South African Museum = Annale van die Suid-Afrikaanse Museum"

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ANN-ALS 

OF TUE 

SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



VOLUME XXI 



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U. t. Nfttional Museum 



ANNALS 



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OP THE 



SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



VOLUME XXI 




, '-303264 V 



PRINTED FOR THE 

TRUSTEES OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

BY NEILL AND CO., LTD., 212 CAUSBWAYSIDB, EDINBURGH. 

1925-1927. 



TRUSTEES OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM. 

Sir Thomas Mxjir, C.M.G., M.A., LL.D., D.Sc, F.R.S. 
The Hon. John William Jagger, F.S.S., M.L.A. 
Prof. William Adam Jolly, M.B., Ch.B., D.Sc, F.R.S.S.Afr. 
Councillor W. F. Fish, J. P. (present Mayor of Capetown). 

Dr J. G. VAN DER HORST. 



SCIENTIFIC STAFF OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN 
MUSEUM. 

Edwin Leonard Gill, D.Sc, Director and Keeper-in-Chief. 

Keppel Harcourt Barnard, M.A., D.Sc, F.L.S., Assistant Director ; in Charge 

of Fish and Marine Invertebrates. 
Reginald Frederick Lawrence, B.A., Assistant in Charge of Reptiles and 

Batrachians, Arachnids and Myriapods. 
Albert John Hesse, B.Sc, Ph.D., Assistant in Charge of the Entomological 

Department. 
Miss Star Garabedian, B.A., Assistant in Charge of the Botanical Department. 
Arthur Lewis Hall, M.A., Sc.D., Honorary Keeper of the Geological and 

Mineralogical Collections. 
Sidney Henry Haughton, B.A., D.Sc, Honorary Keeper of the Palaeontological 

Collections. 



CONTENTS. 
K. H. Barnard, 

A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 
(With Plates I-XXXVII.) 



DATE OF ISSUE OF PARTS. 

Part 1, pp. 1-418, June 1925. 
Part 2, pp. 419-end, October 1927. 



NEW GENERIC NAMES INTRODUCED IN THIS VOLIBIE. 



Anchichoerops (Labridae) ..... 

Caranthus nom. nov. for Cantharus preocc. (Sparidae 

Clinoporus (Clinidae) 

Coccotropsis (Scorpaenidae) 

Cottunculoides (Cottidae) 

Lophotopsis=Eumecichthys Regan 1907 (Lophotidae) 

Marsis nom. nov. for Smaris preocc. (Maenidae) 

Palunolepis (Chilodactylidae) . 

Paracallionymus (Callionymidac) 

Parahynnodus (Apogonidae) . 

Pleuroscopus (Uranoscopidae) . 

Psednos (Liparidae) 

Rhynchohyalns nom. nov. for Hyalorhynchus preocc. (Microstomidae) 



PAGE 

746 
720 
864 
919 
923 
357 
682 
456 
448 
525 
437 
927 
130 



ANNALS 



SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



VOLUME XXI. 

PART I, containing: — 

A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 
Part I. (Amphioxus, Cyclostomata, Elasmobranchii, 
and Teleostei — Isospondyli to Heterosomata.) By 
K. H. Baknard, M.A., D.Sc, F.L.S., F.R.S.S.Afr., 
Assistant Director. (With Plates I-XVII.) 




ISSUED JUNE 1925. PRICE 25s. 



PRINTED FOR THE 

TRUSTEES OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

BY NBILL AND CO., LTD., 
212 CAUSEWAYSIDB, EDINBURGH. 



ANNALS 

OF THE 

SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



VOLUME XXI. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. — By K. H. 
. Barnard, M.A., D.Sc, F.L.S., F.R.S.S.Afr., Assistant Director. 

Preface. 

This Manual of the Marine Fishes of South Africa is intended to form 
a companion volume to the " Freshwater Fishes of South Africa " 
(Gilchrist & Thompson, Annals S.A. Museum, Vol. XI), and a con- 
tinuation of the series of Monographs on the Fauna of South Africa 
begun by W. L. Sclater. 

No comprehensive account of the Marine Fishes of South Africa 
has yet been published, and it is felt that such a volume would be 
welcomed by both scientists, anglers, and South African naturalists 
generally. 

An attempt, therefore, has been made to give a descriptive account 
which will be useful to the professional scientist in comparing the 
South African fauna with that of other regions, and also serve the 
angler as a ready means of identifying his catches. 

No monograph can be expected to be complete, and the Marine 
Survey now in progress will probably add some new species and 
records to the fauna-list. Similarly, the fauna of Delagoa Bay and 
Portuguese East Africa is very imperfectly known ; and even in 
Natal, fresh records of forms common in the Indian Ocean may be 
confidently expected. As this work has been in progress for several 
years, it does not seem advisable to delay its publication any longer, 
and such new records as come to hand during publication will be 
incorporated in an appendix. 

The plan of the work is as follows. An introductory chapter will 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 1 



. o ^^^' 



2 Annals of the South African Museum. 

explain the terms used in tlie descriptions of the species. By this 
means, and with the aid of the diagrams and illustrations, it is hoped 
that the descriptions will be readily intelligible. As a further aid to 
identification, artificial keys to all the families, genera, and species 
have been made. 

In the descriptive portion the scientific names of the species have 
been placed first, because so many of our South African fishes are not 
known, and are never likely to be known, by popular names. In 
several cases the vernacular name of the family or genus used in 
Europe, America, or Australia has been applied to the local repre- 
sentatives. References to the earlier literature and the synonymy of 
each species have been reduced as far as possible, compatible with the 
necessity of avoiding confusion. As a rule, except in the case of new 
records, only a reference to some work containing a good figure of 
the species is given, and also a reference to the Lists of Cape and 
Natal Fishes compiled by Gilchrist and Thompson, where a full 
bibliography of every species will be found, although the present 
writer does not agree in every case with the synonymy there given. 
A bibliography of the most important works dealing with South 
African fishes will be given at the end of the work. 

Special attention has been paid to the habits and life-histories, but 
it must be confessed that in this respect we have yet a great deal to 
learn. As regards coloration, it is frequently impossible to give a 
description of the natural colour, as the species is known only from 
preserved specimens. In those species in which the colour is given a 
certain amount of variation must be expected, especially in many of 
the Indo-Pacific forms which have a wide range. These exhibit 
slight variations in colour, or even in the pattern, in different 
localities. 

In a final chapter it is hoped to give a general survey of the char- 
acteristics of the marine fish fauna of South Africa and its relation- 
ships with the faunas of other regions. 

The more strictly economic and statistical aspect of our fisheries 
is not dealt with here, as it is more properly dealt with in the Marine 
Biological and Fishery Survey Reports published under Dr. Gilchrist's 
direction. 

The material which has served as a basis for the present work is 
in the South African Museum and consists of (1) the old Museum 
collection containing several unique specimens, (2) the collection 
made by the Cape Government trawler s.s. " Pieter Faure," (3) the 
collection of Natal fishes reported on by Gilchrist and Thompson, 



A Mo7iograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 3 

and (4) numerous specimens received during recent years from 

various donors or collected by members of the staff. The whole 

Museum collection contains examples of approximately 75 per cent. 

of the recorded species. An asterisk before a species signifies that the A 

species is not represented in the South African Museum collection. 

Further, through the courtesy of the Director and Mr. Tate Regan, 
I was enabled while in England to study the collection in the British 
Museum. I have thus been able to study actual specimens of the 
majority of the recorded species and to clear up several cases of 
synonymy or supposed synonymy. A number of species in Gilchrist 
and Thompson's Lists will be found, therefore, under different names, 
for reasons which, it is hoped, are well based. A large number of the 
illustrations are from my own original drawings, due acknowledgment 
being made of those which are copied from other works. 

In every case where a species is represented in the South African 
Museum collection, the description is based primarily on these actual 
specimens. The descriptions given by other authors are incorporated 
whenever it is necessary to indicate the limits of variation. 

The limits of the South African region are difficult of exact deter- 
mination and depend largely on personal predilection. For purposes 
of a bibliography of marine faunas the "Challenger" Society places the 
northern boundary on the east coast at 30° S., i.e. at Durban. This 
limit is obviously impossible for a faunistic monograph, and the 
political one between Zululand and Portuguese East Africa is scarcely 
better, because the gradual increase in the percentage of purely 
Indian Ocean species as one proceeds northwards from Natal defeats 
all attempts at drawing a hard and fast boundary. 

Under these circumstances the line 15° S. has been arbitrarily 
chosen as the northern limit of the South African marine faunal 
region, and it has been adopted both on the east and west coasts. All 
records of species from " Mozambique," which I have been able to 
find in the literature, are included. 

The oceanic boundaries are even more difficult to choose. After 
consideration, I have adopted a line running roughly 200-300 miles 
from the coast on the east and west sides of the subcontinent, with 
an extension southwards to 400 miles so as to include the Agulhas 
Bank and adjacent waters. 

Thus defined, the South African marine province will be roughly 
a rectangle bounded by long. 10° E. on the west side, long. 42° E. 
on the east side, lat. 40° S. on the south, and extending northwards 
to lat. 15° S. 



4 Annals of the South African Museum. 

In closing this preface acknowledgment should be made of the 
valuable work which was for many years carried out under the 
auspices of the Cape Government, and is now being continued by the 
Union Government, with a view to increasing our knowledge of the 
fishes and marine fauna of South Africa. 

I desire also to express my obligations to the late Dr. L. Peringuey, 
Director of the South African Museum, to whom the inception of this 




Fig. 1. — Sketch-map showing the limits of the South African region 
adopted in this work. 

work is due, and without whose cordial help, especially in accumulating 
an invaluable collection of ichthyological literature in the Museum 
Library, this work could not have been accomplished. 



Explanation of the terms used in describing fishes. 

It is not intended to give here an account of the structure of fishes 
in general. Besides being beyond the scope of this work, such informa- 
tion can be easily and more fully obtained from any text-book of 
natural history. But in order to render the descriptions of the 
species intelligible to those readers who are unaccustomed to ichthyo- 
logical literature the following explanations of the terms used are 
given (see figs. 2-5). 

General terms, such as back, belly, nape, axil, occiput, etc., are 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 5 

used in the same sense as in the description of any vertebrate animal. 
But as the description of a fish is largely based on the proportional 
measurements of the body and parts of the body, it is necessary to 
define the points between which these measurements are taken. All 
measurements are taken in a straight line as if with a pair of callipers, 
not round the curve of the body. 

The length of the body is the distance between the point of the snout 
(retracted) and the base of the caudal fin. The tail is sometimes 
included, but only where specifically stated. The depth of the body 
is the greatest distance from the back to the belly, sometimes immedi- 
ately behind the head, sometimes further posteriorly, exclusive of 
the fins. 

The length of the head is the distance between the point of the snout 
(retracted) and the hindermost point of the operculum, not counting 
any spines which may be present on the operculum. The depth of 
the head is the greatest distance between the occiput and the lower 
contour of the head. 

The snout is measured from the point of the upper jaw (when in 
the normal retracted position) to the front margin of the eye. 

The postocular part of the head is the distance between the hind 
margin of the eye and the hindermost point of the operculum (exclusive 
of spines). 

The interorhital width is the least distance between the upper 
margins of the eyes, and must be measured with the callipers as the 
head is usually strongly convex between the eyes. 

The isthmus is the space on the chest between the two rami of the 
lower jaw and the gill-openings. 

The caudal peduncle is that part of the body between the hind end 
of the last dorsal fin (or of the anal fin) and the bases of the caudal 
rays. 

As examples of the same species of fish vary in size, even when 
adult, the absolute measurements of the body are not used for diag- 
nostic purposes ; but the relative proportions between the various 
measurements are found to be characteristic of each species within 
slight variational limits. 

In addition to these measurements, the scales along the lateral 

line are counted, as also those between the anterior base of the dorsal 

fin and the lateral line, and between the latter and the ventral fin. 

These scale-counts are usually written as a formula, thus : 1.1. 52, l.tr. 

5 (-6) 

means that there are 52 scales along the lateral line, and 

10(-12) '' 



Annals of the South African Museum. 




Fig. 2. — Diagram of a Bony Fish to show the most important features 
used in the descriptions. 



1. Spinous dorsal fin. \ 

2. Soft dorsal fin. I 

3. Caudal fin. | 

4. Anal fin. ' 

5. Pectoral fin. \ 

6. Ventral (pelvic) fin. J 

7. Adipose fin. 



Vertical fins. 



8. Maxilla. 

9. Preorbital. 

10. Preopercle, 

11. Opercle, 



i2. ^TerTpercle. Operculun.. 
13. Subopercle. J 



14. Branchiostegals. 

15. jSTostrils (2 pairs). 

16. Interorbital. 

17. Caudal peduncle. 

18. Vent. 

19. Lateral line. 






Fig. 3. — Semi-diagrammatic view of 
the roof of the mouth of a Bony 
Fish (Elops sauriis) to show the 
position of tooth-bearing bones. 

1. Premaxilla. 4. Palatine. 

5. Pterygoid. 

6. Parasphenoid. 



Premaxilla. 

ilaxiUa. 

Vomer. 



Fig. 4. — Cycloid scale Fig. 5. — Ctenoid scale 
of Elops saurus. of Macrurus. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 7 

15-18 in a transverse direction, 5(-6) above, 10(-12) below tbe lateral 

5-6 

line. The formula may also be more simply written : scales 52 

^ ^ ^ 10-12 

or in the American fashion 5(-6), 52, 10(-12). The lateral line is a 

mucus-secreting organ running along the side of the body from the 

shoulder to the base of the tail and opening by a series of pores on 

special scales, usually one on each scale. 

The scales of fishes are of a horny nature and are developed in 
pockets of the skin, like the hairs of a mammal. They are said to be 
cycloid when the external edge is smooth, ctenoid when the external 
edge is denticulate or comb-like. 

It is not necessary to enter into details as to the minute structure 
of the scales. But it may be mentioned that in many species of fishes 
the scales exhibit an annular structure indicating the annual increase 
in size, like the rings of growth in a tree. As in the case of trees, so 
the age of the fish may be computed from the number of annular 
rings in its scales. It should be emphasised, however, that this 
correlation has not been proved for all fishes, and that, in the absence 
of such proof, it must not be assumed to be true for all fishes. No 
work in this connection has been done on South African fishes, and I 
am not aware that any detailed observations have been made to deter- 
mine whether this correlation between size of scale and age (or length) 
of fish holds good for the species of trout bred in this country, as it 
apparently does for those in the Northern Hemisphere. 

The composition of the fins is also expressed by a formula. Firstly, 
the initial letter of the fin is given, D for dorsal, A for anal, etc. ; 
for this reason the pelvic fins are termed the ventral fins, so that the 
initial letter is not the same as that of the pectoral fins. Then the 
number of spines and soft rays are indicated, the former by roman, 
the latter by arable, numerals. Thus D VIII. 10 means that there 
is 1 dorsal fin composed of 8 spines and 10 soft rays. If there are 
2 separate dorsal fins the numbers are separated by a -f , thus 
D VIII + 10. D IX + 1.8 would mean that there are two separate 
dorsals, the first composed of 9 spines only, the second of 1 spine 
and 8 rays. In older works on fishes the composition of the fins 
was written like a fraction, the spines above and the rays below : 
D -^\. An adipose fin is a small fleshy fin without spines or rays. 
The dorsal, caudal, and anal fins are sometimes referred to collectively 
as the vertical fins. 

The position of the ventral fins varies. When they are situate 
on the belly they are said to be abdominal (e.g. Elops), when below 



8 Annals of the South African Museum. 

or close behind the base of the pectorals they are thoracic (e.g. 
Dentex), and when in front of the pectorals on the throat they are 
jugular (e.g. Blennius). 

The dentition is always important. Various forms of teeth are 
found, incisiform, canine, molariform ; very small teeth, conical, 
arranged in bands are said to be villiform. Teeth may be developed 
on the premaxillse, the vomers, and the palatine bones in the upper 
jaw, on the lower jaw, and on the tongue. Sometimes the teeth are 
extremely small or absent altogether. The pharyngeal teeth are 
situate behind the gills on the upper and lower sides of the entrance 
to the gullet, and are often useful for classificatory purposes. 

A pseudobranch is the remnant of a once functional gill and is seen, 
when the operculum is lifted up, on the inside of the operculum in 
front of the first gill-arch. 

Gill-rakers are the processes projecting from the inner side of the 
gill-arches, varying in number and shape. 

As regards the soft parts the chief point to notice is the presence 
or absence of the pyloric caeca. These are more or less elongate 
tubules, varying in size and number, attached to the anterior end of 
the intestine just behind the stomach. 

The above terminology and the accompanying diagrams refer to a 
typical Bony Fish. The description of a shark or skate is usually 
simpler. The same proportional measurements are, as a rule, taken, 
but there are no scale-counts and the points to be noted in respect 
of the vertical fins are their position and relative size, and the presence 
or absence of a spine in front of the dorsal fins. 

Classification. 

It might be thought that, with the great increase in scientific 
investigation in recent years, our knowledge of the structure of most 
animals was nearing completeness. Such, however, is not the case ; 
certainly not in regard to fishes. The older classifications were largely 
based on external and relatively superficial characters, and conse- 
quently have been completely upset and altered by the more pene- 
trating anatomical researches of modern times. On many details 
of classification ichthyologists are still not in agreement, though 
the broad outlines are fairly well defined. 

Under these circumstances it is a matter of no little difficulty to 
choose a classification for the present work. The Bony Fishes afiord 
the most scope for disagreement. This group was arranged on 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 



9 



Day's system in Gilchrist's 1902 List of South African Fishes, but in 
the 1914-1918 Lists Gilchrist and Thompson adopted Boulenger's 
1904 classification. Further advances have since been made, notably 
by Regan in 1909 (Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. iii, p. 75). Regan's 
classification, in the main, has been adopted here. 

The following table gives the larger divisions of the classification 
here adopted, those divisions which have no South African representa- 
tives being placed within square brackets. In addition to the true 
fishes, the Hag-fishes and the Lancelet have been included ; the former 
because they are always regarded in the popular mind as " fishes," 
and frequently confounded with the true eel, the latter also on account 
of its fish-like appearance and its importance for evolutionary theories. 
Exception may be taken from the exclusion of the Lancelet's relatives, 
the Sea Squirts (Ascidians), Acorn Worms (Balanbglossids), etc., but 
as these in no way resemble fishes in shape, they are better treated in 
a separate work, especially as the South African forms have not been 
adequately studied. 



Phylum CHORDATA. 

Subphylum 1. Cephalochorda 
,, 2. Craniata. 

Class 1. Cyclostomata 
,, 2. Pisces 

Subclass 1. Elasmobranchii 
Order 1. Plagiostomi . 
,, 2. Holocephali . 
Subclass 2. Teleostomi. 
Order 1. Dipnoi 
[ ,, 2. Crossopterygii 



[ 



3. Chondrostei . 

4. Holostei 

5. Teleostei 



Lancelets. 

Hag-fishes. 
True fishes. 
Cartilaginous fishes. 
Sharks and Skates. 
Chimaeras 

Lung-fishes.* 
Polypterus. West and 

Central Africa.] 
Sturgeons.] 
Gar-pikes.] 
True Bony fishes. 



Phylum CHORDATA. 

Animals characterised by the possession of an elastic rod known as 
the " notochord " forming the axis of the backbone. This notochord 

* Bridge (Camb. Nat. Hist. 1904) places the Dipnoi {Dipneusti) in a separate 
subclass, but states that, with the acquisition of more knowledge of their larval 
development, they wiU probably be included as a subdivision of the Teleostomi. 



10 Annals of the South African Museum. 

is present in the Mglier Vertebrates only in the embryo, but in the 
lower forms persists throughout life. 

The central nervous system (spinal cord) lies above the notochord 
and, therefore, above the alimentary canal, a feature which separates 
the Vertebrates from the Invertebrates. 

A further distinguishing character is the possession of a series of 
openings connecting the gullet with the exterior. In the Fishes 
these openings are the gill-slits, on the walls of which are developed 
the gills, by means of which the blood is aerated. In the terrestrial 
Vertebrates the gills have become functionless, though still present 
in the embryo, respiration being efiected by the lungs. 

SuBPHYLUM 1. CEPHALOCHORDA. 

The CephalocJiorda are Chordate animals in which the notochord 
extends the whole length of the body and of the head. Usually only 
the one family is recognised. 

Fam. Branchiostomidae. 

Lancelets. 

1922. Hubbs, Occ. Papers Mus. Zool. Michigan, No. 105 (list of 
species). 

The Lancelet, or Amphioxus as it is usually designated in zoo- 
logical text-books, is a small fish-like semi-transparent marine animal, 
elongate, pointed at both ends, and compressed from side to side. 
Its mouth is situate on the lower surface and is surrounded by a fringe 
of tentacles, which act as strainers to keep out particles of sand while 
allowing a current of water to enter carrying the microscopic organisms 
on which it feeds. 

The gullet is pierced by a number of gill-slits which open into 
a cavity (atrium) on the ventral surface of the body. This cavity 
opens to the exterior by a small pore (atrial pore) placed some little 
distance in front of the vent. 

There is a very simple vascular system, without a distinct heart, 
but which is similar in general plan to that of the higher Vertebrates. 
The blood is colourless. 

The sexes are separate. A series of oblong swellings along one or 
both sides of the atrium represent the pockets in which the ova and 
sperm are developed. These, when ripe, are shed into the sea, where 
fertihsation and larval development take place. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 11 

The nervous system consists of a simple spinal cord with lateral 
branches. The front part is not swollen to form a brain. There is 
usually a pigment spot (" eye ") in front of the spinal cord, but no 
other sensory organs except the tentacles around the mouth. The 
complete absence of true eyes at once distinguishes the Lancelot 
from the larval eel {Leptocephalus) . 

There is no internal skeleton. The notochord, which corresponds 
with the vertebral column of the higher Vertebrates, is here a thin 
unjointed rod of cartilaginous tissue supporting the spinal cord. 

Along the sides of the body the muscles show up very clearly as 
chevron-shaped bands, the number of which varies and is distinctive 
of each species of Lancelet. 

Limbs and paired fins are absent, but there is a narrow dorsal fin 
which is continued round the tail on to the ventral side, forming an 
anal fin. 

From the evolutionary point of view Amphioxus is important, 
because it shows some of the essential Vertebrate characters in a very 



Fig. 6. — Branchiostoyna capense Gilch. a, atrial pore ; 7n, mouth ; v, vent. 
Twice natural size. (After Gilchrist.) 

simple form. It is regarded as a persistent type approaching very 
closely to one of the early stages in the evolution of the higher 
Vertebrates. 

Twenty-five species and three larval forms are known from various 
parts of the world. 

Gen. Bbanchiostoma Costa. 

1834. Costa, Cenni. Zool. Nap., p. 49. 

Reproductive pockets developed along both sides of body. 



Key to the South African species. 

1. Total number of myotomes 74-75 ... . . . . capense. 

2. Total number of myotomes 62-69 ..... bazarutense. 



12 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Branchiostoma capense Gilch. 

The Cape Lancelet. 

1902. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S.A., vol. ii, p. Ill, pi. x. 

The numbers of muscle-bands between the head and atrial pore, 
atrial pore and vent, vent and end of tail, are 47, 18-19, 9 respectively, 
total 74-75. No eye-spot. 

Length. — Up to 48 mm. 

Colour. — White or pinkish, semi-transparent. 

Locality. — Simon's Bay and False Bay to Algoa Bay, shallow water 
down to 30 fathoms. Frequents sandy or fine gravelly localities, 
burrowing with great rapidity. The European species is said to swim 
about more freely at night. 

Type (mounted in balsam) in South African Museum. 

* Branchiostoma bazarutense Gilch. 

1923. Gilchrist, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. xii, p. 62, text- 
fig. 

The numbers of muscle-bands between head and atrial pore, 
atrial pore and vent, vent and end of tail, are respectively 38-42, 
15-17, 9-10, total 62-69. Eye-spot present. 

Length. — Up to 42 mm. 

Colour. — Semi-transparent. 

Locality. — Bazaruto Islands, Portuguese East Africa. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

SuBPHYLUM 2. CEANIATA. 

These constitute the " Vertebrates " as usually understood. They 
are distinguished by the presence of a " head " distinct from the body, 
in which a brain is developed as an enlargement of the anterior part 
of the central nervous system. A skull or " cranium " is developed 
around the brain, and a series of vertebrae form the backbone and 
give support to the 2 pairs of limbs (usually present) and to the 
body as a whole. A muscular heart is always present, and the blood 
is red. 

The Craniates are divided into the two classes, the Cyclostomes and 
the Pisces, with which alone this work is concerned ; and four others : 
the Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 13 

Class 1. CYCLOSTOMATA. 

Lampreys and Hag-fishes. 

The Cyclostomes (= Round-mouths) include the Lampreys {Petro- 
myzontidae) and the Hag-fishes [Myxinidae) ; the following morpho- 
logical account applies more particularly to the latter as they are the 
only South African representatives. 

Owing to their eel-like form they are frequently mistaken for true 
Eels or " Sea-snakes," but a cursory examination will easily disclose 
the differences. 

The circular mouth, without a hinged lower jaw, is the most char- 
acteristic feature. It is adapted for sucking, and, with the exception 
of one on the roof of the mouth, teeth are developed only on the 
tongue, which can be protruded and withdrawn. The teeth are 
horny and not calcified. The mouth is surrounded by several ten- 
tacles (4 pairs), and there is a single median nostril on the front 
margin of the head. The eyes are degenerate. 

The gills are in pouches, which open internally into the gullet, 
and externally by either a series of small openings along the sides of 
the body or a single opening on each side. An unpaired canal connects 
the gullet with the exterior, opening conjointly with the last gill- 
opening on the left side. 

Scales are entirely absent. The skin is richly provided with mucus- 
secreting glands, of which a series running along each side corresponds 
with the lateral line sense-organ of the true Fishes (see p. 17). 

There are no paired fins. A median fold of skin extends round the 
end of the tail and for a varying distance along the back and the 
belly. 

The skeleton is cartilaginous, consisting of a simple vertebral column 
and brain-case and a series of rods supporting the gill-sacs. There 
are no ribs and no traces of shoulder or hip girdles. 

As regards internal anatomy the Cyclostomes agree in general 
with the true Fishes, although all the organs are very much simpler 
in construction ; thus the digestive canal is not clearly divided into 
distinct regions. There is no air-bladder. 

The eggs of the Hag-fishes are large and enclosed in a horny egg- 
case. There is no larval stage, the newly-hatched young being a 
miniature of the adult. (The Lampreys, on the other hand, have small 
eggs and a distinct larval stage.) 

Cyclostomes are exceedingly primitive Vertebrates, although some 



14 



Annals of the South African Museum. 



features of their structure are considered to be due to degeneration. 
In other respects again, e.g. the structure of the mouth, they are 
highly specialised in conformity with their habits. 

Hag-fishes are extremely voracious and are partly parasitic in their 
mode of life. By means of their suctorial mouths they attach them- 
selves to dead or dying fishes, and by the aid of their rasping tongues 



ll\/I\fi\ 



^ 





^n1ral fin ' 

A B CD 

Fig. 7. — A-D, Ventral views of the anterior ends of South African Hag-fishes 
reduced to a common scale : A, Myxhie capensis : B, Heptatretus profundus ; 
C, H. hexatrema ; D, H. octatrema ; E, egg-capsule of H. hexatrema, natural 
size ; F, head of one of the anchor- filaments of same enlarged. (A-D original ; 
E and F after Gilchrist.) 

bore their way inside and devour the flesh and entrails. Fishes 
caught in nets suffer severely from their attacks, and frequently there 
is nothing left of the victim except the skin and bones. They are thus 
a great nuisance to fishermen, and at times they occur in such numbers 
as to be a real pest. 

Fam. Myxixidae. 

Hag-fishes. 

Of the three known genera two are represented in South Africa, 
distinguished as follows : 



1. A single giU-opening on either side 

2. A series of giU-openings on either side 



. Myxine, 
Heptatretus. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 15 

These two genera are sometimes made the types of two separate 
families : Myxinidae and Heptatretidae {Bdellostomatidae). 

Gen. Myxine Linn. 

1758. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 650. 

Five to seven pairs of gill pouches opening by a common orifice on 
either side of the body. 

North and South Atlantic, Pacific. Usually in rather deep water. 

Myxine capensis Eegan. 
The Deep-water Hag-fish. 

1913. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. xi, p. 398 ; and vol. xii, 
p. 229. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 133. 

Seven pairs of gill pouches. Ten teeth, the anterior 2 basally 
fused, in both series. Head 3J-3| in total length. Pores 28-31 in 
front of gill-openings, 58-67 between these and vent, 10-13 behind 
vent. 

Length. — Up to 360 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish or greyish. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, Cape Hangklip, and Saldanha Bay, 
95-250 fathoms. 

Type in the British Museum. 

The naturally deposited eggs of this species are unknown, but 
ovarian eggs in an advanced stage measure 18x5 mm. 

Gen. Heptatretus Dum. 

(=BDELLOSTOMA Mtill.) 

1819. Dumeril in Cloquet, Diet. Sci. Nat., vol. xv, p. 134, 

1912. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. ix, p. 534. 

Five to fourteen pairs of gill pouches, opening separately by a series 
of orifices along the sides, all the ducts from the gill pouches to the 
external openings being of about the same length. 

North and South Pacific, South Africa. Usually in shallow water. 

Key to the South African species. 

5 gill-openings on either side ....... profundus. 

6 „ ,, ........ Jiexatrema. 

8 „ „ ........ oclatrema. 



16 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Heptatretus profundus Brnrd. 
The Five-gilled Hag. 

1923. Barnard, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. xiii, pt. 8, p. 439. 

Five gill-openings. Teetti 11 in outer, 10 in inner row, the anterior 
3 in the outer, the anterior 2 in the inner row basally fused. Head 
(i.e. from nostril to first gill-opening) 4f times ; depth of body (at level 
of gill-openings) 12 times in total length. Ventral fin ending at a 
great distance (100 mm.) behind last gill-opening. 

Length. — 620 mm. 

Colour. — Dark brown. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 400 fathoms, s.s. " Pieter Faure." 

Type in the South African Museum. 

The forward position of the gills at once removes any doubt as to 
this specimen being merely a 5-gilled aberration of the common Hag. 
The second gill pouch on the left side is degenerate, being only about 
a quarter of the size of the others. This is the first record of a 5-gilled 
Heptatretus, and the deep-water habitat is exceptional for a member of 
this genus. 

Heptatretus hexatrema (Mlill.). 
Common or Six-gilled Hag ; Sea-snake ; Zee-slang. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 133, and p. 113 (text- 
fig.) (Habits). 

1918. Gilchrist, Quart. Journ. Microsc. Sci., (63), vol. i, p. 141, 
pis. x-xii (Eggs and embryo). 

Six gill-openings. Teeth 12 in outer, 11-12 in inner row ; the 
anterior 3 in outer, the anterior 2 in inner row basally fused. Head 
3-3|- times, depth of body 15 times in total length. Ventral fin 
ending at a considerable distance (at least equal to distance between 
first and last gill-openings) behind last gill-opening. 

Length. — Up to 900 mm. 

Colour. — Slaty grey. 

Locality. — Table Bay to Algoa Bay, down to 50 fathoms. 

The egg capsules are ovoid, about 30 mm. long and 12 mm. wide, 
furnished at each end with a bunch of anchor-like filaments by which 
they adhere together in clusters. Below the bunch of filaments there 
is at each end a dark line marking the place where the capsule splits 
when the embryo is ready to hatch (fig. 7, E, r). 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 17 

Heptatretus octatrema Brnrd. 
Slender or Eight-gilled Hag. 

1923. Barnard, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. xiii, pt. 8, p. 439. 

Eight gill-openings. Teeth 10 in both rows ; the anterior 3 in the 
outer, the anterior 2 in the inner row basally fused. Head 4 times, 
depth of body 25 times in total length. Ventral fin ending only a short 
distance (8-10 mm.) behind last gill-opening. 

Length. — 300 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish. 

Locality. — Agulhas Bank, 25-40 fathoms, s.s. " Pieter Faure." 

Type in the South African Museum. 

Easily distinguished by its greater slenderness from the Japanese 
ohmoseanus Dean 1904, the only other known species with 8 gill- 
openings. 

Class 2. PISCES. 

True Fishes. 

In opposition to the Cyclostomes and lower Vertebrates the true 
Fishes (and higher Vertebrates) are characterised chiefly by the 
possession of a pair of biting jaws furnished with teeth, 2 pairs 
of limbs, paired nasal organs and nostrils, and a structure known as 
the air-bladder in Fishes and the lungs in terrestrial Vertebrates. 

The Fishes in particular are further characterised as follows. 
The heart has only a single auricle (except in the Dipnoi) ; that is, 
the heart consists of 2 chambers and drives venous blood to the 
gills, thus corresponding with the right half of the 4-chambered 
heart of a mammal. The blood is cold, i.e. corresponds with the 
external temperature, though in a few cases, such as the active tunny, 
it is appreciably warmer than the surrounding temperature. 

The gills persist throughout life and, with few exceptions, form the 
only means of respiration. 

The air-bladder is usually present, and may or may not communicate 
by a duct with the alimentary canal. It is compressible at will, and 
serves the purpose of regulating the specific gravity of the fish, or in 
a few cases {Bipnoi) functions as a lung. It contains a mixture of 
gases, oxygen predominating in marine fishes, nitrogen in freshwater 
fishes. 

The highly characteristic lateral - line sense-organ consists of a 
mucus-secreting duct running from the shoulder, with a continuation 
on to the head, along the side of the body to the tail, and opening by 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 2 



18 Annals of the South African Museum. 

a series of pores. It is riclily supplied with nerves and may be 
concerned with the perception of varying pressures or with equilibra- 
tion, though its real use is not certainly known. In some cases more 
than one lateral line may be developed. Though present in the 
Elasmobranchs, it is much more prominently developed in the Bony 
Fishes. 



Subclass 1. ELASMOBRANCHII. 

Cartilaginous Fishes. 

Skeleton cartilaginous, or partially calcified, but without any bony 
elements. The upper jaw is formed by the palatine (palato-quadrate) 
cartilages which meet in front, and corresponds not with the upper 
jaw in the Bony Fishes, but with the palatine bones. It is usually 
attached to the cranium by ligaments (hyostylic), but in some case? 
may be directly articulated (amphistylic) or even fused therewith 
(autostyUc). The skin is beset with a covering of more or less uniform 
denticles (shagreen) or, as in the Holocephali, is smooth with the 
denticles confined to certain areas. The gill-arches and openings are 
5-7 in number and open separately to the exterior, except in the 
Holocephali where an operculum is developed. A spiracle, i.e. a 
vestigial gill cleft, is frequently present in front of the gill-openings. 
A pelvic girdle as well as a pectoral girdle is present. The tail, in all 
living forms, is heterocercal, i.e. asymmetrical, the upper lobe being 
more strongly developed than the lower. 

There is a spiral valve in the intestine, but no pyloric caeca and no 
air-bladder, although in certain sharks [Mustelus, Galeus, Acanthias) 
there is a structure somewhat resembling an air-bladder. A nicti- 
tating membrane is frequently present in the eye. The nostrils are 
Agential, and each has only a single opening. The vent and urino- 
genital organs open by a common (cloacal) aperture. Males with 
intromittent organs in the form of claspers on the ventral fins. 

In opposition to the Bony Fishes, the Elasmobranchs are very 
uniformly coloured. They are all carnivorous, feeding on fishes, 
Crustacea, shell-fish, and in some cases minute planktonic organisms. 
They are either oviparous or viviparous ; the young are almost 
exactly like the adults, definite larval forms such as are so common 
in the Bony Fishes being unknown. The number of eggs or of 
young is small, the former being of large size and enclosed in a 
hornv case. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 19 

This group, which includes, besides the sharks, skates, and chimae- 
roids represented by living species, many other fossil representatives, 
is of great antiquity. Fossil remains are found in strata of Silurian age 
and in all subsequent deposits. Some of these early Elasmobranchs 
probably represent the ancestors of all the modern fishes. 

In South Africa the dorsal fin-spines and teeth of a Heterodont 
shark {Hybodus africanus) have been found in the Burghersdorp 
Beds (Upper Karroo), and teeth of Carcharodon, Lamna, and Oxyrhina 
in Cretaceous and Tertiary strata. 



Order 1. PLAGIOSTOMI (TREMATOPNEA). 

Sharks and Skates. 

Regan, Proc. Zool. Soc, 1906, p. 722. 

Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard, vol. xxxvi, 1913. 

Skull as a rule hyostylic. Gill-slits opening separately without an 
operculum. Skin more or less covered with dermal denticles (except 
Narcobatoidei). Teeth usually numerous on both upper (palatine) 
and lower jaws. 

Several classifications of the Sharks and Skates have been proposed. 
The one here adopted is that of Regan {op. cit., supra). This arrange- 
ment has also been followed by Ridewood (Philos. Tr. Roy. Soc, 
B379, vol. ccx, p. 311, 1921) in his very thorough elucidation of the 
structure of the vertebrae, to which so much importance was formerly 
attached. 

There are two suborders which are easily distinguished by several 
characters, both external and internal. 

Suborder 1. PLEUROTREMATA. 

Sharks. 

Gill-slits ateral, the last in front of or above the base of the pectoral 
fin. The whole margin of the eye free. Anterior margin of the 
pectoral fin free, only the anterior rays reaching the fin-margin 
(except Lamnidae). The suprascapular parts of the pectoral girdle 
well separated above. Skull without praeorbital cartilages attached 
to the nasal capsules. Palato-quadrate with a process articulated, 
or attached by ligament, to the skull. Hyomandibular cartilage 
{i.e. the upper half of the cartilage in front of the first gill-slit) with 
cartilaginous rays supporting the first gill. 



20 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Key to the South African families. 

T. Anal fin present. 

A. Gills 6-7. One dorsal fin . . . . . . Heptranchidae. 

B. Gills 5. Two dorsal fins. 

1. Dorsal fin-spines absent. 

a. Oronasal grooves absent (except Scyllioyaleus). 

i. Nictitating membrane present . . Carcharinidae. 
ii. Nictitating membrane absent. 

a. Second dorsal much smaller than first Lamnidae. 
j6. Dorsal fins subequal. 

* Teeth large, awl-shaped . Odontaspidae. 

** Teeth small, numerous . ScylliorJiinidae. 

b. Oronasal grooves present .... Orectolobidae. 

2. Dorsal fin-spines present .... Heterodontidae. 
II. Anal fin absent. 

A. Body not depressed. 

1. Snout not produced ...... Squalidae. 

2. Snout produced into a long rostrum . . PristiopJioridae. 

B. Body depressed, skate-like ...... Squatinidae. 

In the South African fauna there are known for certain up to the 
present 44 species of sharks. Yet it is extremely probable that other 
species will later be found to occur. For example, the cosmopolitan 
Blue Shark, Carcharinus glaucus, is certain to be recognised sooner 
or later, and on this account a brief description is included in the 
present work.* It is essential, however, if our knowledge of the South 
African sharks is to be increased, that all instances of the capture 
of unfamiliar sharks be reported immediately to the nearest museum 
or scientific institution, so that an expert may have the chance of 
examining the fish. This applies to all specimens washed up on the 
beach, and as far as possible to those captured at sea by trawlers. 

Apart from the mere recording of forms new to the fauna-list, our 
knowledge of the life-history and habits of all the large sharks is very 
fragmentary, and no opportunity, therefore, should be lost of obtaining 
both properly preserved specimens and authentic information. 

Fam. 1. Hepteaxchidae, 

( = NOTIDANIDAE.) 

Comb-toothed Sharks. 

Body elongate. Skull amphistylic. One dorsal fin, without spine, 
opposite the anal. No pit at root of caudal, the lower lobe of whicli 
is well developed. No nictitating membrane. Spiracle small, on 
* Since going to press, has been definitely recorded. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 21 

the side of the neck. Labial fold absent or only at angle of lower jaw. 
Nostrils not connected with mouth {i e. oronasal grooves absent). 
Teeth dissimilar, in upper jaw one or two pairs of awl-shaped teeth, 
followed by 6 broader ones with several cusps ; lower jaw with 6 
large comb-like teeth on either side, posterior teeth smaller. S x or 
seven wide gill-slits. 

This family is widely distributed in the warmer seas, but contains 
only a few species, some of which are of large size. Viviparous. 

Key to South African genera. 

1. Seven gill-slits ......... Heptranchias. 

2. Six gill-slits ......... Hexanchus. 

Gen. Heptranchias Raf. 

1810. Rafinesque, Caratt. Nuovi Gen., p. 14. 

Gill-sKts 7. Mouth wide, with labial fold from angle on lower 
jaw, and a deep groove behind angle. Head broad, depressed ; 
snout broad. 

Heptranchias pectorosiis (Gar man . 
Seven-gilled Shark. 

1868. Macdonald and Barron, Proc. Zool. Soc, 1868, p. 371, 
pi. xxxiii {Heptranchus indicus, non Agassiz). 
1884. Garman, Bull. Essex Inst., vol. xvi, p. 56. 

1913. Id., Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool, vol. xxxvi, p. 20. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 134 {Heptranchias 
indicus, non Agassiz. The references belong to another species). 

A median pointed tooth in upper jaw, lower median tooth with 
lateral cusps but no central cusp, 1st cusp of lower teeth larger than 
the others. Upper edge of tail with 3-6 series of enlarged oval scales. 
Pupil subcircular. (Plate I, fig. 1.) 

Length. — Up to 8 ft. 

Colour. — Grey, usually with darker spots or blotches. 

Locality. — Agulhas Bank. 

Distribution. — S. America, New Zealand, Australia. 

Ogilby (1897, Proc. Linn. Soc, N.S.W., vol. xxii, p. 62) describes 
a pair of jaws, said to have come from the Cape, under the name 
Heptranchias haswelli, which Garman considers synonymous with the 
above species ; Ogilby, however, states that there is a central cusp 
to the lower median tooth, which is not the case in pectorosiis. 



22 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Gen. Hexanchus Eaf. 

1810. Rafinesque, Caratteri Nuovi Gen., p. 14. 
Gill-slits 6. Mouth wide, with labial fold on lower jaw at angle. 
No median tooth in upper jaw. 

Hexanchus griseus (Bonnat.). 

Six-gilled Shark. 

1788. Bonnaterre, Ichthyol., p. 9. 
1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 397. 
1913. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxxvi, p. 16. 
1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 319. 
Median tooth of lower jaw with or without a median cusp, laterals 
of lower jaw with 7 cusps. 
Length.— JJ-p to 26 ft. 
Colour. — Grey. 

Locality.- — Agulhas Bank, Natal coast. 
Distribution. — Atlantic, Mediterranean, Japan. 

Fam. 2. Carcharinidae. 

Typical Sharks. 

Body elongate. Skull hyostylic. Two dorsal fins, without spines, 
the 1st between pectoral and ventral. Anal present. Pit at root of 
caudal present or absent, caudal without lateral keels and with 
lower lobe well developed or obsolete. Nictitating membrane 
present. Spiracle minute or absent. Labial folds present. Nostrils 
not connected with mouth (except in Scylliogaleus). Teeth when fully 
developed hollow, usually with a single large triangular cusp, usually 
without basal cusps ; or the teeth may be small, numerous, and obtuse, 
or with very indistinct cusps. Five gill-slits. 

A large family distributed all over the world, some species ascending 
rivers, or even living entirely in fresh water. Often of large size. 
Viviparous as far as is known. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Head not hammer-shaped. 
A. A pit at root of tail. 

1. Spiracles none. Teeth with a single cusp, smooth or serrated on both 

sides ........ Carcharinus. 

2. Spiracles small. Teeth serrated on both sides. A pit below tail as 

well as above ...... Galeocerdo. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 23 

B. No pit at root of tail. Spiracles present though usually minute. 

1. Oronasal grooves absent. 

a. Teeth with a single cusp serrated on outer margin only 

Galeorhinus. 

b. Teeth with central acute cusp and 1-2 small basal cusps 

Leptocarcharias. 

c. Teeth numerous, pavement-like, obtuse or with very indistinct 

cusps ....... Mustelus. 

2. Oronasal grooves jaresent ..... Scylliogaleus. 
II. Head hammer-shaped. ....... Sphyrna. 

The position of the genus Scylliogaleus is dependent on the compara- 
tive values which students attach to the presence of a nictitating 
membrane and oronasal grooves. I follow Bridge (Camb. Nat. Hist., 
1904, p. 449) and Sedgwick (Text Book of ZooL, 1905) in assign- 
ing it to the Carcharinidae, although, perhaps, justice is not done 
to the phylogenetic significance of the oronasal grooves. Garman 
(Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxxvi, 1913) places it in his family 
Galeorhinidae together with Leptocarcharias, Triakis, Mustelus, etc. 

Gen. Carcharinus Blnvlle. 1816. 
(=Carch ARIAS Cuv.) 
1816. Blainville, Journ. Phys., p. 264. 

Second dorsal and anal fins very small. No spiracles. A pit at 
root of caudal, which has well-developed lower lobe. Teeth with a 
single large cusp, serrated or not. 

A genus of numerous species, often of large size, chiefly found in 
the warmer seas. Some live in fresh water. 

Key to the South African species. 
I. Teeth not serrated (Scoliodon). 

A. Preoral length of snout equal to or less than distance from eye to 1st 

gill-slit. Labial fold not extending on upper jaw . . acutus. 

B. Preoral length of snout greater than distance between eye and 1st gill-slit. 

Labial fold extending a short way on upper jaw . walbeeJimi. 

IT. Teeth serrated (Prionodon). 

A. First dorsal nearer pectoral than ventral. 

1. First dorsal immediately behind pectoral. 

a. Snout broadly rounded, its preoral length much less than width 

of mouth ...... za7nbese7isis. 

b. Snout pointed, its preoral length not much less than width of 

mouth, 
i. Coloration uniform .... obsciirus 

ii. Fins with black extremities .... limbattis. 

2. First dorsal conspicuously distant from pectoral. Fins with black 

extremities ....... melanopterus. 

B. First dorsal nearer ventrals than pectorals .... gJaucus. 



24 Annals of the South African Museum. 

*Carcharinus acutus (Riipp.). 
Sharp-7iosed Shark. 

1838. Rlippell, Neue Wirbelthiere. Fische, p. 65, pi. xviii, fig. 4. 

1878. Day, Fishes of India, p. 712, pi. clxxxiv, fig. 3. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. ii, p. 139. 

Snout pointed, its preoral length {i.e. from front margin of mouth) 
greater than width of mouth and equal to or a little less than distance 
from eye to 1st gill-slit. A very short labial groove at the angle of 
the mouth extending only a very short way (y-,- in young to jj in 
adults) along upper jaw. Teeth about 20 in upper, 18 in lower jaw, 
oblique, not serrated. Hind margin of pectoral slightly concave, 
upper angle somewhat pointed, reaching beyond origin of dorsal. 

Length.— Vip to 700-800 mm. 

Colour. — Grey, whitish below ; margins of fins white, upper margin 
of caudal black. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — Indian Ocean to Japan. 

Carcharinus walheehmi (Blkr.). 
Walbeehm's Sharp-nosed Shark. 

1856. Bleeker, Nat. Tyds. Ned. Ind., vol. x, p. 353. 

1870. Gunther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 359. 

1878. Day, Fishes of India, p. 712, pi. clxxxv, fig. 2. 

Snout pointed, its preoral length greater than width of mouth 
and greater than distance between eye and 1st gill-slit. A short 
labial groove on both jaws, extending -i along upper jaw. Teeth 
about 20 in both jaws, oblique, not serrated. Hind margin of pectoral 
slightly concave, upper angle somewhat pointed, extending to beyond 
origin of dorsal. (Plate I, fig. 2.) 

Length. — Up to 900 mm. 

Colour. — Grey, nearly uniform, the margins of the fins sometimes pale. 

Locality. — Natal coast, Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — Indian seas to Japan. 

^Carcharinus tnelanopterus (Q. and G.). 
Black-filmed Shark ; Black Shark (Natal). 

1878. Day, Fishes of India, p. 715, pi. clxxxv, fig. 3. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 139. 

Snout rounded, its preoral length less than width of mouth. A very 



EXPLANATION OF PLATES. 



PLATE I. 

FIG. 

1. Heptranchias pectorosus (Garman) (^ (after Day) 

2. Carcharinus walbeehmi (Blkr.) (original) 

3. Galeorhinus canis (Rond.) (original) . 

4. Mustelus manazo Blkr. (original) 

5. Scylliogahus queketti Blgr. (after Boulenger) 

6. Isurus ylauca (M. and H.) (after Waite) 

7. Carcharodon carcharids (Linn.) (original) 



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24 
28 
30 
31 
33 
33 



Ann. S. Afr. Mus., Vol. XXI 



Plate I 




XeiU & Co., Ltd. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 25 

short labial groove. Teeth about 25 in both jaws, serrated. Origin 
of 1st dorsal some distance behind base of pectoral. Pectoral falci- 
form. 

Length. — Up to 1000 mm. 

Colour. — Grey, whitish below ; ends of all the fins black. 

Locality. — Cape and Natal seas. 

Distribution. — Indian Ocean to S. Pacific. 

Mr. E. Robinson records specimens up to 477 lb. caught off the 
Natal coast. 

^'Carcharinus zambesensis (Peters). 
River Shark. 

Native names in the Tette district : maschipunde and tschindaingo. 

1868. Peters, Reise Mossamb., vol. iv, p. 7, pi. i, fig. 2. 

1909. Boulenger, Freshwater Fishes of Africa, vol. i, p. 2, fig. 1. 

Snout rounded, its preoral length less than width of mouth. A very 
short labial groove not extending on either jaw. Teeth about 27 in 
upper, 25 in lower jaw, serrated, with a small non-serrated median 
tooth. Origin of 1st dorsal just behind base of pectoral. Pectoral 
falciform. 

Length. — Up to 760 mm. 

Colour. — Grey, whitish below. 

Locality. — Zambesi River, 120 miles from coast (Tette). 

This shark is closely allied to, and may even prove synonymous 
with, the well-known C. gangeticus, which is found in the Ganges, 
Tigris, and other rivers, where it attacks bathers. 



Carcharinus obscurus (Leseur). 
Dusky Shark. 

1818. Leseur, J. Ac. Nat. Sci. Philad., vol. i, p. 223, pi. ix. 

1870. Gunther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 366. 

1913. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. ZooL, vol. xxxvi, p. 130. 

Snout somewhat produced, preoral length not much less than wi'dth 
of mouth. Teeth 29-30 in each jaw, oblique, on broad bases ; the 
upper with outer margin excised, lower more slender than upper, 
both finely serrulate, the lower ones very minutely and chiefly only 
on the base. Gill-slits much wider than orbit. First dorsal originating 
immediately behind base of pectoral, which is falciform. Second dorsal 
slightly smaller than, and opposite to or very slightly behind, anal. 



26 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Length. — Up to 8 ft. 6 in. (stuffed specimen in South African 
Museum). 

Colour. — Uniform grepsli, lighter below. 

Locality. — Table Bay. 

Distribution. — N. and S. Atlantic, Canary Islands. 

This specimen is the only record of this species from South African 
waters. 

Carcharinus glaucus (Rond.). 
Blue SharJc. 

1870. Gtinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 364. 

1913. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxxvi, p. 145, pi. iii, 
figs. 1-3. 

Snout pointed, its preoral length much greater than width of 
mouth. A very short labial groove at angle of mouth. Teeth of 
upper jaw slightly oblic[ue, triangular ; of lower jaw slender, lanceolate 
on broad bases, serrated. Origin of 1st dorsal nearer ventrals than 
pectoral. Pectoral long falciform. 

Length. — Up to 25 ft. 

Colour. — Deep blue above, whitish below ; the blue colour, however, 
fades to a dull blackish grey after death. 

Locality. — Agulhas Bank. 

Distrihution. — Cosmopolitan. 



Carcharinus limbatus M. and H. 
Black-fin SharJc. 

1838-41. Miiller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 49, pi. xix, fig. 2 (Teeth). 

1878. Day, Fish. India, p. 716, pi. clxxxiv, fig. 2. 

1920. Robinson, Natal Fish. Rep. for 1919, p. 50. 

Snout rather pointed, its preoral length almost equal to width of 
mouth. A very short labial groove. Teeth 30, similar in both jaws, 
but upper somewhat stouter and more distinctly serrated, erect, 
constricted. Origin of 1st dorsal very close behind axil of pectoral. 

Length. — Up to Q^ ft. 

Colour. — Grey, with the extremities of the fins black. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Tropical Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Oceans. 

Mr. R. Robinson states that this is the commonest shark in Natal 
and a very sporting fish. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 27 

Gen. Galeocerdo M. and H. 

1838-41. Miiller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 59. 

Second dorsal and anal fins very small. First dorsal between 
pectorals and ventrals. A pit below root of tail as well as one above. 
Teeth subequal, subtriangular, oblique, serrated on both edges, deeply 
excised on outer margin. Spiracles small. 



'^Galeocerdo arcticus (Faber). 
Tiger Shark. 

1829. Faber, Fish. Iceland, p. 17. 

1838-41. Miiller and Henle, loc. cit., p. 59, pi. xxiii {G. tigrinus). 

1868. Macdonald and Barron, Proc. Zool. Soc, 1868, p. 368, pi. xxxii 
{G. rayneri). 

1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, pp. 377-378. 

1878. Day, Fish. India, p. 718, pi. clxxxvii, fig. 3 (young). 

1913. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxxvi, p. 148. 

1920. Robinson, Natal Fish. Rep. for 1919, p. 50 {G. rayneri). 

Body massive. Snout short and rounded, its preoral length much 
less than distance between inner angles of nostrils. A long labial 
fold on upper jaw. 

Length.— \J^ to 12 ft. 

Colour. — Grey, with the 1st dorsal fin and the body from behind 
the gill-slits marked with irregular dark blotches and vertical stripes, 
whitish below ; old specimens tending to become uniform. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Temperate and tropical seas. 

This very fierce shark is included in the fauna-list on the authority 
of Mr. R. Robinson, who states that examples up to 600 lb. are 
caught with hand-lines off the North Pier, Durban, but that the 
record for a rod and line is 298 lb. 



Gen. Galeorhinus Blnvlle. 

1816. Blainville, Bull. Sci. Philom., p. 121. 

Second dorsal and anal fins very small. Spiracles small. No pit 
at root of caudal, which has a well-developed lower lobe. Teeth 
short on a long base, with a single cusp serrated on outer margin 
only. Pupil of eye subcircular. 



28 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Galeorhinus canis (Eond.). 
The Tope. 

1895. Smitt, Scandin. Fish., p. 1132, pi. 1, fig. 2. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. ii, p. 140. 

Snout pointed. A short labial fold on both jaws. Teeth about 
34 in both jaws. Origin of 1st dorsal about midway between ventral 
and pectoral, but slightly nearer latter. Second dorsal slightly in 
advance of anal. (Plate I, fig. 3.) 

Length. — Up to 1800 mm. 

Colour. — Steely or bronzy grey, whitish below ; pupil emerald 
green, iris black. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — Cosmopolitan. 

A rather small ground shark found nearly all over the world. 

Gen. Leptocarcharias Gnthr. 

1870. Gunther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 384. 

Second dorsal not much smaller than 1st, and considerably larger 
than anal. Spiracle minute. No pit at root of caudal, which is 
without a lower lobe. Labial grooves well developed. Teeth small, 
numerous, with a large median cusp and 1-2 small basal ones. 

^^Leptocarcharias smithi (M. and H.). 
Smith's Shark. 

1838-41. Mliller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 56, pi. xxi. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 141. 

Snout pointed, less than distance between eye and 1st gill-slit. 
A minute spiracle distant half the diameter of eye from hind margin 
of eye. One gill-slit over pectoral, upper margin of which is 2^ in 
outer margin. Second dorsal in advance of anal, not much smaller than 
1st dorsal and distinctly larger than anal. First dorsal midway between 
pectoral and pelvics. Base of anal 2| in its distance from pelvics. 
Mouth wider than long, labial folds extending nearly half-way along 
both jaws. Nasal flap long, narrow, and pointed. Numerous 
mucous pores on head, especially a patch in front of eye and paired 
patches on upper surface of snout. 

Length. — 550 mm. 

Locality. — Cabenda Bay, Congo. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 29 

Type in the British Museum. 

This species really has no place in the South African fauna-list, as 
the locality from which the only known specimen was obtained is 
situate just north of the mouth of the Congo River. It is included, 
however, as it may very likely range farther south, and may sooner 
or later be recognised from some locality within the limits of South 
Africa. 

Gen. MusTELUS Cuv. 

Hounds. 

1817. Cuvier, Regne Anim., p. 128. 

Second dorsal not much smaller than 1st, larger than anal. Spir- 
acles small. No pit at root of caudal, which has a feebly developed 
lower lobe. Labial folds well developed. Teeth small, numerous, 
pavement-like, obtuse, or with very indistinct cusps. Pupil round. 

The snout tends to be proportionately longer in young individuals, 
and the teeth have more distinct points, those which are quite blunt 
in the adult frequently showing small points. 

The Hounds are bottom-haunting sharks, of small size, feeding 
mainly on Crustaceans and Molluscs, but preying also on shoals of 
small fish. 

The flesh of at least some of the species, e.g. M. laevis, is nutritious 
and palatable (Field, Rep. U.S. Bur. Fish., 1906, Doc. 622, publ. 
1907). 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Preoral portion of snout equal to width of mouth. 

A. Posterior teeth in upper jaw with obtuse points. With or without black 

spots .......... laevis. 

B. All the teeth obtuse without points. With or without white sjaots 

vulgaris. 
II. Preoral portion of snout longer than width of mouth. Teeth without points 

manazo. 

Mustelus laevis (Rond.). 
Smooth Hound. 

1849. Smith, Illustr. Zool. S.A. Pisces, pi. ii {M. megalopterus). 

1866. Steindachner, S.B. Ak. Wiss. Wien., vol. liii, p. 482, pi. i 
{M. natalensis). 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, pp. 142-143. 

Snout moderately produced, its preoral portion equal to width of 
mouth. Posterior teeth in upper jaw with oblique points or in the 



30 Annals of the South African Museum. 

young tricuspid {natalensis) . Eacli embryo is attached to the uterus 
by a placenta, i.e. vascular folds of the yolk-sac of the embryo inter- 
lock with similar folds of the lining membrane of the uterus, and a 
diffusion of nutrient matter takes place from the maternal blood to 
that of the embryo, in a manner similar to that which occurs in higher 
animals. About 12 young are produced at a birth. 

Length. — Up to 1500 mm. 

Colour. — Grey, uniform, or with small irregularly scattered black 
spots, paler below ; young, with black tips to the dorsal and caudal 
fins. 

Locality. — Table Bay, Kalk Bay to Natal, down to 100 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean and neighbouring portion of Atlantic, 
ranging to the United States. 

According to American observations, this species produces from 
4-12 young at a birth. 

Mustelus canis (Mitch.). 
Common Hound. 

1838-41. Miiller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 190, pi. xxvii, fig. 1 
{vulgaris). 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 141. 

Snout moderately produced, its preoral portion equal to width of 
mouth. All the teeth obtuse, without points. The embryos are not 
attached to the uterus by a placenta. 

Length. — Up to 1500 mm. 

Colour. — Grey, uniform, or with small whitish spots, paler below ; 
pupil black, iris same colour as body. 

Locality. — False Bay to Algoa Bay and Natal, down to 150 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Coasts of Europe and United States. 

Mustelus manazo Blkr. 
Long-snouted Hound. 

1850. Schlegel, Fauna Jap. Poiss., p. 303, pi. cxxxiv {vulgaris). 

1878. Day, Fish. India, p. 720, pi. clxxxvi, fig. 3. 

Snout produced, pointed, its preoral portion greater than width of 
mouth, which is angular, especially in young. All the teeth obtuse, 
without points. Embryo not attached to uterus by a placenta. 
(Plate I, fig. 4.) 

Length. — Up to 700 mm. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 31 

Colour. — Grey, uniform, or with small whitish spots, paler below. 
Locality. — Natal, Delagoa Bay. 
Distribution. — Indian seas to Japan. 

Gen. ScYLLioGALEUs Blgr. 

1902. Boulenger, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (7), vol. x, p. 51.. 

Nictitating membrane present. First dorsal between pectoral and 
pelvics, 2nd dorsal not much smaller. Anal opposite hind portion 
of 2nd dorsal and much smaller than 2nd dorsal. No pit at root of 
caudal, no lateral fold on caudal. Spiracle well marked, behind eye. 
Nostrils connected with the mouth by oronasal grooves. Labial 
folds strong. Teeth flat, mosaic-like, transversely oval, in bands in 
both jaws. Pupil an oblique slit. 

^Scylliogaleus queketti Blgr. 
QueJcetfs Dog-fish. 

1902. Boulenger, loc. cit., p. 51, pi. iv. 

1916. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 3, 
p. 283. 

Teeth ribbed with very feeble ridges. Dorsal and anal fins concave 
posteriorly. (Plate I, fig. 5.) 

LengtJi. — 340 mm. 

Colour. — Grey above, white beneath ; fins grey, caudal edged with 
white. 

Locality. — Natal, 40 fathoms. 

Type in British Museum. 

Gen. Sphyrna Raf. 
(=Zygaena Cuv.) 

1810. Rafinesque, Indice d' Ittiol. Sicil., p. 60. 

Second dorsal and anal small. A pit at root of caudal, which has 
moderately developed lower lobe. Anterior part of head flattened 
and produced laterally into lobes, at the end of which the eyes are 
situated. Spiracle absent. Nostrils situate on front edge of head. 
Labial grooves extremely small. Teeth similar in both jaws, with a 
single oblique cusp, non-serrated. 

The three or four species of this genus are widely distributed in 
the warmer seas. The peculiar development of the lateral lobes of 
the head has not been satisfactorily explained. 



32 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Sphyrna zygaena (Linn.). 
Hammer-head Shark. 

1878. Day, Fish. India, p. 719, pi. clxxxvi, fig. 4 (Z. malleus). 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 143 {S. malleus). 

Front margin of head gently curved, not confluent with the lateral 
margins. Lateral margin equal to or a little greater than hind margin 
of one side of " hammer." Hind margin of " hammer " oblique to 
long axis of body. Nostril close to eye, prolonged into a groove 
running along nearly the entire front margin. 

Length.— V^ to 12-15 ft. 

Colour. — Slaty-grey, whitish below ; pupil vertically oval, emerald 
green, iris black. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — All tropical and subtropical seas. 

Fam. 3. Isuridae. 

Body elongate. Skull hyostylic. Two dorsal fins, without spines, 
1st between pectoral and pelvics. Second dorsal and anal very small. 
A pit at root of caudal. Lateral caudal folds present or absent. 
Nictitating membrane absent. Spiracles minute or absent. Labial 
folds present. Nostrils not connected with mouth. Teeth solid, 
usually with a single large cusp, with or without basal cusps. Five 
gill-slits, wide or very wide. 

Widely distributed sharks of moderate or large size. They are all 
probably viviparous. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Gill-slits not extremely wide. 

A. Tail not very long, its sides keeled. 

1. Teeth not serrate ....... Isurus. 

2. Teeth serrate ....... Carcharodon. 

B. Tail very long, not keeled at sides .... Alopias. 
II. Gill-slits extending from top of head to throat . . . Cetorhinus. 

Gen. IsuRUS Raf. 
(=Lamna Cuv.) 

1810. Rafinesque, Caratteri Nuovi Gen., p. 11. 

Spiracles absent (sometimes a minute pore). A pit at root of 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 33 

caudal, whicli has strongly developed lower lobe and lateral keels. 
Teeth large, with a single cusp (Isurus) and sometimes additional 
basal cusps {Lamna), non-serrated, 3rd tooth on each side in upper 
jaw much smaller than its neighbours. Gill-slits very wide. Labial 
folds obsolete. 

The Porbeagles are extremely rapacious sharks, their chief prey 
in European waters being the herring shoals. /. cornuhica attains a 
length of 10 feet. They are viviparous. 

^'Isurus glauca (M. and H.). 
The Porbeagle. 

1905. Jordan and Evermann, Fishes Hawaiian Isl., p. 43, fig. 5. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 145. 

Teeth in 4 rows, long, without additional basal cusps. First dorsal 
midway between the pectoral and pelvics. Preoral portion of snout 
equal to length of cleft of mouth. (Plate I, fig. 6.) 

Length.— V^ to 2100 mm. (7 ft.). 

Colour. — Bluish black above, whitish below ; hind angles of dorsal 
fins whitish. 

Locality — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. 

Gen. Carcharodon Smth. 

1837. Smith, Proc. Geol. Soc. London, p. 86. 

A pit at root of caudal, which has a strongly developed lower lobe 
and lateral keels. Spiracles minute or absent. Teeth large, erect, 
triangular, serrated ; 3rd tooth on each side in upper jaw much smaller 
than its neighbours. Labial folds present. 

Carcharodon car char ias (Linn.). 
Man-eating Shark. 
1849. Smith, Illustr. S.A. Zool. Pisces, pi. iv (C capensis). 
1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 145 (C. rondelefi). 
Teeth in 5 rows, about 24 in each row in upper, 22 in lower jaw. 
(Plate I, fig. 7.) 
Length.— V^ to 30-40 ft. 

Colour. — Bluish above, whitish below ; edges of pectorals blackish. 
Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — Nearly all temperate and tropical seas. 
A pelagic species attaining a length of 40 feet. A tooth of a speci- 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 3 



34 Annals of the South African Museum. 

men of this size is about 2 inches long ; but fossil teeth of extinct 
species are known which measure 5 inches, indicating animals nearly 
100 feet in length. 

This formidable shark is well known, but apparently no observations 
have been made on its breeding habits. 

Gen. Alopias Raf. 

1810. Rafinesque, Caratteri Nuovi Gen., p. 12. 

A pit at root of caudal, which has the upper lobe greatly elongate 
and no lateral keels. Spiracles minute. Teeth equal in both jaws, 
moderate, triangular, non-serrated. Gill-slits moderate. Labial folds 
present. 

Alopias vulpes (Gmel.). 
Fox or Thresher Shark. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 147. 

The 3rd tooth on each side in upper jaw much smaller than its 
neighbours. Tail half, or more than half, of total length. 

Length. — Up to 15 ft. 

Colour. — Dark slaty-grey, whitish on belly, sometimes mottled 
laterally around pectoral fins ; eye dark. 

Locality. — Cape and Natal seas. 

Distribution. — Cosmopolitan. 

This well-known and easily recognised shark feeds principally on 
the shoals of herring and mackerel, using its tail to beat the water 
and thus drive the fishes together so that they can be more easily 
seized. It is also stated to join with the killer whale and sword- 
fish in their attacks on whales ; but such statements are probably 
based on faulty observations. 

Gen. Cetorhinus Blnvlle. 

1816. Blainville, Journ. Phys., p. 264. 

A pit at root of caudal, which has well-developed lower lobe and 
lateral keels. Spiracle very minute, above angle of mouth. Teeth 
very small, numerous, conical, without cusps and serrations. Gill- 
slits extending from top of head to throat, the gill-rakers very long. 

Cetorhinus maxirnus (Gunner). 
Basking Shark. 
1895. Smitt, Skandin. Fish., p. 1143, figs. 331, 332 (juv., adult, 
and gill-rakers). 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 35 

1913. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxxvi, p. 39 (references 
and synonymy). 

In tlie adult the snout is normal in shape, but in young individuals 
up to 12-15 ft. it is produced as a subcylindrical process with the upper 
apex sharply pointed. The mouth is nearly transverse in the young, 
but crescentic in the adult. (Plate II, figs. 1, la.) 

Length.— JJ-p to 40-50 ft. 

Colour. — Bluish above, lighter below. 

Locality. — Agulhas Bank. The only record is the young specimen, 
11 ft. in length, exhibited in the South African Museum. 

Distribution. — Arctic Seas, N. Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Australia. 

This is the largest of the Sharks, indeed the largest living fish 
with the possible exception of the Indo-Pacific Basking Shark {Rhino- 
don). Early records state that specimens have been killed measuring 
up to 90 ft., but these records were probably based on estimates only, 
and they have never been confirmed in more recent times. 

This shark is a sluggish animal, frequently lying quiet at the surface 
of the water, whence its name. It is usually observed singly, but 
becomes gregarious at the breeding season. Its mode of reproduction 
is unknown. 

As shown by its minute teeth, it is of a harmless disposition, feeding 
on the microscopic organisms in the sea like the whale-bone whales. 
The gill-slits are very wide, to allow a large amount of water to pass 
through them. The gill-rakers are extraordinarily numerous and long, 
fine, and flexible. By this means the microscopic organisms are 
strained out from the water passing through the gills. 

Fam. 4. Odontaspidae. 

Body elongate. Skull hyostylic. Two dorsal fins, subequal in 
size, without spines, 1st between pectoral and pelvics. Anal not very 
small. Tail not keeled at sides, with or without pit at root. Gill- 
slits moderate. Spiracles minute. Teeth large, with long, narrow, 
awl-shaped central cusp, and one or two additional basal cusps. 
Labial folds on lower jaw. No nictitating membrane. 

Only one genus. 

Gen. Carcharias Eaf. 
(=Odontaspis Agass.) 

1810. Rafinesque, Caratteri Nuovi Gen., p. 10. 
With the characters of the family. 



36 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Carcharias taurus Raf. 
Slender-toothed Shark. 

1838-41. Miiller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 73, pi. xxx. 

1878. Day, Fish. India, p. 713, pi. clxxxvi, fig. i (0. tricuspidatus) . 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 146 {0. americanus). 

In upper jaw 1st tooth very slightly smaller than 2nd, one or two 
small teeth between 3rd and 4th teeth ; in the lower jaw the 1st 
tooth more slender than the 2nd ; all the teeth with a single basal 
cusp on either side of the long one ; posterior teeth in both jaws 
very small. First dorsal nearer root of pelvic than to pectoral. 
(Plate II, fig. 2.) 

Length.— V^^ to 10+ ft. 

Colour. — Grey, lighter below. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — Atlantic and Mediterranean. 

The Indo-Pacific form, tricuspidatus Day, scarcely differs from the 
present form, except in having the 1st upper tooth not smaller than 
the 2nd. The origin of the 1st dorsal fin varies in position, as pointed 
out by Glinther, but appears to be nearer the pelvics in tricuspidatus 
than in taurus. 

Fam. 5. Orectolobidae. 

Regan, Proc. Zool. Soc, London, 1908, p. 347. 

Body elongate. Skull hyostylic. Two dorsal fins without spines, 
posterior in position, the 1st being above or behind the pelvics. Anal 
present. No nictitating membrane. Spiracles well developed or 
minute. Nostrils connected with mouth by oronasal grooves. Labial 
folds on both jaws. Teeth small or very small, with or without 
additional cusps. Five gill-slits, the last 2-4 above the base of pectoral. 

The members of this family are multifarious in habits, the majority 
being littoral and ground sharks. Most of the species are Indo- 
Pacific. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Ven^ large, pelagic. Spiracle minute. Gill-slits very wide. Teeth minute. 

Ehinodon. 
II. Spiracle ■well developed. GiU-slits moderate. Teeth small . Chiloscyllium. 

Gen. Rhinodon Smth. 

1849. Smith, lUustr. Zool. S.A. Pisces. 

Head broad, obtuse. Mouth subterminal. First dorsal slightly 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 37 

in advance of pelvics, 2nd dorsal and anal small. A pit at root of 
caudal, which has well-developed lower lobe. Eye very small. Spiracle 
minute. Teeth numerous, minute, conical, recurved, set in close 
regular rows. Nostrils opening on labial margin. Gill-slits very wide, 
last 2 above base of pectoral. Gill-rakers very long, forming a 
straining apparatus similar to that found in Cetorhinus. 

^Rhinodon typicus Smth. 
Indo-Pacific Basking Shark. 

1849. Smith, loc. cit., pi. xxvi. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 149. 

1915. Gudger, Zoologica, vol. i, No. 19 (figures and references). 

A medio-dorsal keel and 2-3 lateral ones on each side, the lowest 
continued on to tail. Lower caudal lobe acutely produced. (Plate II, 
fig. 3.) 

Length. — Up to 50 ft. 

Colour. — Brownish, with whitish dots and transverse lines. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific to Japan, Peru, California, Florida. 

Type from South Africa in the Paris Museum. 

The history of this species is interesting. It was first described 
by Sir Andrew Smith from a specimen washed ashore in Table Bay 
in April 1828. This specimen was only 15 ft. long and was afterwards 
sold to the Paris Museum, where Cuvier was at that time amassing 
a magnificent collection of fishes to serve as a basis for his Histoire 
Naturelle des Poissons. The next specimen was reported, in 1868, 
from Seychelles, where Dr. Percival Wright saw several specimens 
and measured one more than 45 ft. in length. Later examples were 
recorded from the Peruvian coast, Ceylon, Japan, East Indies, and 
North America (see Gudger, loc. cit.). No further specimens have 
been recorded from South Africa. 

From the resemblance of its gill-rakers and feeble teeth to those of 
the true Basking Shark [Cetorhinus) it is probable that this shark 
feeds on minute planktonic organisms strained out of the water. 
The statement that it feeds on seaweed needs confirmation. 

Gen. Chiloscyllium M. and H. 

1838-41. Miiller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 17. 

First dorsal above or behind pelvics, 2nd dorsal in advance of 
anal which is contiguous with caudal. Eye not very small. Spiracle 



38 Annals of the South African Museum. 

distinct, below eye. Nasal valve folded, with a cirrus. Lower lip 
well developed, without median groove. Teeth small, triangular, 
with or without lateral cusps. Two last gill-slits very close together. 

^Chiloscyllium indicum (Gmel.). 

1908. Eegan, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1908, pt. 2, p. 362, 
pi. xiii, fig. 2. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 135. 

Mouth much nearer eye than tip of snout. First dorsal behind 
pelvics. Three prominent tubercular ridges along back. Teeth 
with lateral cusps. (Plate II, fig. 4.) 

Length. — Up to 430 mm. 

Colour. — Head and body with dark reddish spots or vermiculations, 
some of which may unite to form pairs of transverse bands. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — Indian Ocean to China. 

Fam. 6. Scylliorhinidae. 
Dog-fish. 

Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. i, p. 453, 1908. 

Body elongate. Skull hyostylic. Two dorsal fins, without spines, 
subequal in size, 1st above pelvics. Caudal not laterally keeled, 
lower lobe not strongly developed. Anal present. Spiracle distinct. 
Teeth small or moderate, usually tricuspid. No nictitating membrane. 
Mouth not connected with nostrils by oronasal grooves. Pupil of the 
eye an oblique slit sloping downwards and forwards. Five gill-slits. 

Oviparous. Egg-cases rectangular with a long tendril at each 
corner for purposes of attachment to rocks and seaweed. 

The members of this family are mostly of small size, and are dis- 
tributed over the greater part of the temperate and tropical seas. 
In habits they are ground sharks, and frequently prove a great 
nuisance to line-fishermen. 

Only one genus has yet been found in South Africa. 

Gen. ScYLLiORHiNUS BlnvUe. 

1816. Blainville, Journ. Phys., p. 263. 

First dorsal not in advance of pelvics, anal in advance of 2nd dorsal. 
Spiracle behind eye. Teeth small, with median longer cusp and 
usually one or two small lateral cusps. Labial folds present or absent 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 



39 



on one or both jaws. Dermal denticles on side of tail not larger than 
those on rest of body. 

Various subgenera are often recognised and even raised to full 
generic rank (see Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxxvi, 1913), 
but so far as the South African fauna is concerned a subdivision of 
the genus seems unnecessary. The species are all very similar in 
general facies, yet the 10 South African species would be distributed 
into at least 5 genera. 




III. 



Fig. 8. — Ventral views of the mouth and nostrils of A, Scylliorhinus 
africanus ; B, S. capensis ; C, 8. edwardsi. 

Key to the South African species (see fig. 8). 

I. Upper lip overlapping lower at corner of mouth. Upper labial fold, if present, 
very short. Lower labial fold short or moderate. Pelvics of (J united 
or at least contiguous at base (subgenus Scylliorhinus). 

A. Nasal flap with projecting cirrus. 

1. Cirrus not reaching mouth .... africanus. 

2. Cirrus long, reaching mouth .... 2^a?i^Aen'?iM.s. 

B. Nasal flap without cirrus ...... capensis. 

II. Upper lip not overlapping lower. Labial folds vestigial or absent. Head 

broad, depressed. Stomach inflatable (subgenus Cephalosctjllium) sufflans. 
Upper lip not overlapping lower. Labiai folds (usually) distinct. Pelvics 
(usually) not united. 

A. No cirri on nasal flaps. 

1. Nasal flaps confluent (subgenus Haploblepharus) . edwardsi. 

2. Nasal flaps separate (subgenus Halaelurus). 

a. Length of base of anal more than its distance 
from caudal ...... regani. 

b. Length of base of anal less than its distance 
from caudal. 

i. Short labial folds in both jaws . . natalensis. 

ii. No labial folds ..... p)unctatus. 

B. Cirrus on one or both nasal flaps (subgenus Aprisiurus). 

1. Cirrus on both flaps ...... microps. 

2. Cirrus on anterior flap only ..... saldanlia. 

Scylliorhinus africanus (Gmel.). 
Striped Dog-fish ; Lui-haai. 
1849. Smith, lUustr. Zool. S.A. Pisces, pi. xxv, fig. 1. 
1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 136. 



40 Annals of the South African Museum. 

. Snout obtusely pointed. Nasal flaps widely separate, each with a 
projecting cirrus which, however, does not reach the mouth. Upper 
lip overlapping lower at corner of mouth. A short labial fold on lower 
jaw. Base of anal greater than its distance from caudal. 

Length. — Up to 950 mm. 

Colour. — Buff or light grey, with longitudinal blackish bands, a 
medio-dorsal and 2-3 lateral ones ; pupil black, iris same colour as 
body. 

Locality. — False Bay to Algoa Bay. 

Distribution. — Madagascar. 

The egg-case is about 80-90 mm. long, uniform horn-colour. 

Scylliorhinus pantheriiius (M. and H.). 
Ocellate or Variegated Dog-fish. 

1849. Smith, lUustr. Zool. S.A. Pisces, pi. xxv, fig. 2, and pi. xxv, 
fig. 3 [variegatus). 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. ii, p. 138. 

Similar to africanus, but with the cirrus reaching the mouth and 
a different colour pattern. The first-mentioned character is appar- 
ently constant, but a series of examples can be obtained showing an 
almost complete transition from the plain striped pattern of africanus 
to the purely ocellate one of jpantherinus. (Plate II, fig. 5.) 

Length. — Up to 700 mm. 

Co/owr.-— Grey, with oval or circular more or less complete dark 
ocellate markings arranged more or less in longitudinal bands. 

Locality. — False Bay to Algoa Bay. 

Distribution. — Indian Ocean. 

Type in the British Museum. 

Scylliorhinus capensis (Smth.). 
Cape or White-spotted Dog-fish. 

1878. Day, Fish. India, p. 724, pi. cxc, fig. 1. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. ii, p. 137. 

Snout obtusely pointed. Nasal flaps separated, without cirri. A 
short labial fold on lower jaw. Base of anal less than its distance 
from caudal. 

Length. — Up to 1000 mm. 

Colour. — Grey, with white spots, lighter below. 

Locality. — Table Bay, False Bay to Natal, 20-200 fathoms. 



PLATE II. 

FIG. 

1. GetorJiinus maximus (Gunn) ^ adult (after Waite) 
la. „ „ „ snout of young (original) 

2. Carcharias taurus Raf. (original) 

3. Bhinodon typicus Smth. (after Dean) . 

4. Chiloscyllium indicum (Gmel.) (after Regan) 

5. Scylliorhinus pantherinus (M. and H.) ^J (original) 

6. Echinorhiniis spinosus (Gmel.) (original) 

7. Squalus acayithias (Rond.) (original) . 

8. Etmopterus granulosus (Gnthr.) (original) 



TEXT-PAGE 

. 34 



36 
37 
38 
40 
46 
47 
49 



Ann. S. Afr. Mus., Vol. XXI. 



Plate II. 




yeill <£• Co., Ltd. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 41 

Distribution. — -Indian Ocean. 

The egg-case is about 40-50 mm. long, chestnut-brown, usually 
with 4 light transverse bands. 

* Scylliorhinus suffians Regan. 
Balloon Bog -fish. 

1921. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. vii, p. 413. 

1922. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 46. 

Head broad, snout obtusely pointed. Nasal flaps widely separated, 
without cirri. No labial folds. First dorsal fin larger than 2nd. Base 
of anal greater than its distance from caudal. 

Length. — 750 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish, without distinct spots or markings. 

Locality. — Natal, 120-175 fathoms. 

Type in the British Museum. 

The name of this dog-fish is derived from its capacity to inflate 
the alimentary canal to an enormous extent. One specimen recorded 
by Gilchrist [loc. cit.) " formed an almost spherical ball about a foot 
in diameter." 

Scylliorhi^ius edwardsi (Cuv.). 
Banded Dogfish ; Pof adder -haai ; Scham-oog . 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 137. 

Snout obtusely pointed. Nasal flaps confluent, without cirri. 
A short labial fold on lower lip. Base of anal less than its distance 
from caudal. 

Length. — Up to 520 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish, mottled and reticulate with darker, with brownish 
or rusty patches forming irregular more or less distinct transverse 
bands. 

Locality. — Saldanha Bay, Table Bay, False Bay, Agulhas Bank. 

Garman (1913) has instituted for this species the genus Haploble- 
pharus, equal in rank to Halaelurus, etc. 

^Scylliorhinus microps Gilch. 
Small-eyed Dog-fish. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 46, pi. vii, fig. 1. 

Head and snout depressed. Nasal flaps confluent, each with a 

small cirrus. Lower labial fold extending almost to symphysis. 



42 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Eye small, 11 in length of head (from snout to last gill-slit). Second 
dorsal fin larger than 1st. Pectoral not reaching origin of pelvics, 
which are contiguous and do not reach origin of anal. Anal contiguous 
with lower caudal lobe. 

Length. — ? 

Colour. — Black, purplish below. 

Locality. — Off Table Bay, 790 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

The character of the upper lip is not given in the original description. 
I have not seen a specimen. 

Scylliorhinus regani Gilch. 
Mottled Dog-fish. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 45. 

Snout rather pointed, length = IJ distance between outer edges 
of nasal flaps, which are without cirri and separated by a space 
= 1|-1| posterior edge of either. Mouth twice as wide as long. No 
labial folds. First dorsal originating above end of base of pelvics, 
base ^ distance from 2nd dorsal, which is larger than 1st, originates 
above posterior third of base of anal, and whose base is 1^ in its 
distance from caudal. Length of base of anal twice (2f in young) 
base of 1st dorsal. If (2 in young) base of 2nd dorsal, and 1| (1 in 
young) times its distance from caudal. Pectoral rounded, its posterior 
margin extending half-way to base of pelvics, which in (^c3* are united 
for rather more than half their posterior margins. Lower caudal lobe 
very shallow. Teeth tricuspid. 

Length. — Up to 550 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Light, with darker spots on upper part of 
body and dorsal and pectoral fins, these spots being considerably 
larger than the intervening light ground-colour (except in very 
young) and closely set so as to leave a reticulate pattern of ground- 
colour. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point and East London, 95-250 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

The proportions, except that the anal is proportionately longer 
as noted above, are the same for the young (180 mm.) as for the adult. 
The snout in the young is more rounded in shape. 

Like polystigma, to which it is closely related, this species resembles 
Scylliorhinus proper in having the pelvic fins in the ,$ united. 

Easily distinguished from punctatus, the only other South African 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 43 

species with, somewliat similar markings, by the snout, the distance 
of anal from caudal, and other features. 

Scylliorhinus natalensis Regan. 
Banded or Natal Dog-fish. 

1904. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (7), vol. xiv, p. 128. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 138. 

Snout pointed. Nasal flaps separated, without cirri. A short 
labial fold on both jaws. Base of anal less than its distance from 
caudal. 

Length. — Up to 425 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish or reddish brown, with darker transverse bands 
usually in pairs ; upper parts reticulated and mottled with darker. 

Locality. — Algoa Bay to Natal, to 50 fathoms. 

Type in British Museum. 

*Svylliorhinus punctatus Gilch. 
Punctate Dog-fish. 

1914. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 129, text-fig. 

1921. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. vii, p. 413 {poly stigma). 

Snout rounded. Nasal flaps separated, without cirri. No labial 
folds. Dorsal fins subequal or 2nd larger than 1st. Base of anal 
less than its distance from caudal. Pelvic fins in cj {polystigma) 
united for their basal third. 

Length. — Up to 320 mm. 

Colour. — Upper parts and fins covered with numerous small round 
dark spots and also a few white spots ; 2 faint brown bands 
between gill-slits, 1 below base of pectorals, 2 across body between 
pectorals and 1st dorsal, 1 in front and 1 at base of 1st dorsal, 
2 between 1st and 2nd dorsals. 

Locality. — Ofi: Cape Point, 148-226 fathoms (punctatus) ; Natal, 
120 fathoms (polystigma). 

Type of punctatus in coll. Gilchrist ; of polystigma in British Museum. 

Regan's polystigma apparently difiers from Gilchrist's punctatus 
only in one particular : the 2nd dorsal being larger than the 1st. 
It is not stated whether in punctatus the pelvics are united in q. 

Gilchrist (Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 46) expresses the 
opinion that these two forms are synonymous, and this would seem 
to be very probable. 



44 Annals of the South African Museicm. 

The following species, an inhabitant of the coasts of Chile, has been 
doubtfully recorded from South Africa. 

^Scylliorhinus bivius (Smth.). 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. ii, p. 136. 

Nasal flaps widely separate, small, narrow, acutely pointed, and 
notched on posterior margin, without cirrus. Labial folds on both 
jaws for about half their length. Base of anal less than its distance 
from caudal. 

Length. — Up to 750 mm. 

Colour. — Black, with dark blotches or transverse bars, upper parts 
with roundish blackish spots and usually some pale spots. 

Scylliorhinus saldanha n. sp. 
Deep-water Dog-fish. 

Length of head (tip of snout to hindmost gill-cleft) 2|- in length of 
body (to vent), 5 in total length. Length of eye (not the orbit as 
indicated by the scaleless skin) equal to length of nasal cavity, 2 in 
interorbital width, 3 in snout, 7| in length of head (to hindmost gill- 
cleft). Length of nasal cavity 2| in preoral length, which is equal to 
width of mouth. Posterior nasal flap rudimentary, with only an 
indication of a cirrus opposite the cirrus on the anterior flap, which 
is not confluent with its fellow. Lower labial fold extending half- 
way to symphysis, upper labial fold extending a little over halfway 
towards nasal ca\aty. Ends of pectoral fins separated from origin 
of ventrals by a distance equal to length of snout, or to length of 
base of ventral. First dorsal arising above vent, slightly smaller 
than 2nd. The two dorsals separated by a distance equal to that 
between tip of snout and spiracle. End of base of 2nd dorsal opposite 
end of base of anal, the length of which is equal to distance between 
hind end of bases of pectorals and origin of ventrals, or almost equal 
to distance from tip of snout and 1st gill-cleft. Origin of anal slightly 
behind level of end of base of 1st dorsal, its distance from vent equal 
to length of snout. Greatest depth of caudal lobe considerably greater 
than depth of caudal axis above it. Claspers reaching to origin of anal. 
Teeth tridentate, i.e. only one lateral cusp on each side of the median 
one. Dermal scales ovoid, tricarinate, the median keel ending in a 
point, the lateral ones ending in obscure points. Conspicuous patches 
of mucous pores on upper and lower surfaces of snout, especially in 
the middle line, and below the eyes. 

Length. — 810 mm. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 45 

Colour. — Slaty grey, the smooth skin (at bases of pectoral fins, etc.) 
blackish brown ; pupil pale translucent green. 

Locality. — Ofi Saldanha Bay, 500 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

It is impossible to correlate this species with the description given 
of S. microps Gilch., though the localities are nearly the same. The 
figure of microps is very poor and the length of the specimens is not 
mentioned. If the specimens are young, one would expect the eye 
to be even smaller in the adult. For this reason alone the species 
described above cannot be identified with microps. There are, 
moreover, several other differences in the proportions of the fins 
which separate it from microps, and also profundorum and indicus. 

Fam. 7. Heterodontidae. 
Port Jackson Sharks. 

Body elongate. Skull autostylic (though not so completely auto- 
stylic as in the Holocephali). Two dorsal fins, with spines, 1st 
between pectoral and pelvics, 2nd in advance of anal. Lower caudal 
lobe well developed. Nostrils connected with the mouth. Spiracles 
small. Teeth similar in both jaws ; front ones small, obtuse (in young 
pointed with 3 cusps) ; lateral ones large, pad-like, arranged obliquely. 
Five gill-slits. 

Oviparous. Egg-case oval with an external spiral fold and 2 long 
tendrils. 

The inclusion of this family in the South African fauna-list is based 
on a record of a specimen supposed to have come from Table Bay, 
which was named by Ogilby in 1908 as a new species, but without 
any description. 

'^Heterodontus bonae-spei Ogilby. 

1908. Ogilby, Pr. Roy. Soc. QueensL, vol. xxi, p. 2 {sijie descrip- 
tione). 

Even if the specimen was caught in Table Bay, it seems probable 
that it should have been identified as H. philippi, the well-known 
Port Jackson shark, which has a fairly wide distribution in Austral- 
asian waters, and may occasionally stray further afield. 

Fam. 8. Squalidae. 
Spiny Sharks and Dog-fish. 
(Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. ii, p. 39, 1908.) 
Body elongate. Skull hyostylic. Two dorsal fins, with or without 



46 Annals of the South African Museum. 

spines. Anal absent. Spiracles present. Teeth small, uni- or 
multicuspid, erect or oblic[ue. Nictitating membrane absent. 
Nostrils not connected with mouth. Labial folds present. Five 
gill-slits, narrow, all in front of pectoral. 

So far as is known all the species are viviparous. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Mouth crescentic. No spines in dorsal iins. Dermal denticles large, scattered, 
with strong spines ........ Echinorhinus. 

II. Mouth transverse, with oblique groove on either side. Dorsal fins with spines. 

A. Spines without grooves ....... Squalus. 

B. Spines laterally grooved. 

1. Teeth in upper jaw tricuspid .... Etmopterus. 

2. Teeth vmicuspid. 

a. Inner angle of pectoral not produced. 

i. Dermal denticles pedunculate, with flat rounded crowns. 

Centroscynmus. 
ii. Dermal denticles pedunculate, with triradiate crowns. 

Acanthidium. 

b. Inner angle of pectoral produced . . . Atractophorus. 

Gen. Echinorhinus Blnvlle, 

1816. Blainville, Bull. Sci. Philom., p. 121. 

Dorsal fins very small, without spines, 1st opposite pelvics. Skin 
with large scattered round tubercles, each with (usually) a single 
spine. Mouth crescentic. Teeth alike in both jaws, very oblique, 
with denticulations on either side of the central cusp. Spiracles 
small. Gill-slits moderate, increasing in width posteriorly. Pupil 
round. 

Only a single species is known. 

Echinorhinus spinosics (Gmel.). 
Spiny SharJc. 

1849. Smith, lUustr. Zool. S.A. Pisces, pi. i (not good). 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. ii, p. 151. 

This form will be recognised from the above characters. An 
embrvo in the South African Museum may be briefly mentioned. 
It is a S, 285 mm. long, and has the greater part of the skin smooth, 
but the dermal denticles are developed on the back and sides in the 
form of small villose papillae ; there is no trace of the large dermal 
denticles. The teeth are feeble, but show the characteristic form. 
The lateral line is very distinct ; it is subdermal on the head, but 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 47 

rises to the surface at the level of the 2nd gill-slit, and runs thence to 
the tip of the tail as an open canal bordered by dermal papillae. 
Lower lobe of tail not notched. (Plate II, fig. 6.) 

Length.— V-p to 3000 mm. (10 ft.). 

Colour. — Dark bluish grey above, slightly lighter below ; pupil 
emerald green, iris black. 

Locality. — Saldanha Bay, Table Bay, Agulhas Bank, 30-50 fathoms. 

Distribution. — N. Atlantic, Mediterranean, to Australia, New 
Zealand, and Japan. 

Gen. Squalus Linn. 
Spiny Dog-fish. 

1758. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 233. 

Two dorsal fins, with spines which are not grooved, 1st larger than 
2nd. A long, deep, oblique groove on either side of transverse mouth. 
Teeth equal in both jaws, very oblique, inner margin forming a 
cutting edge. Spiracle rather large, immediately behind eye. Gill- 
slits narrow, in front of pectoral. Pupil round. 

These dog-fish usually congregate in shoals, and frequently prove 
a great nuisance to both line-fishermen and trawlers. They are 
viviparous, and it is interesting to note that the embryo is furnished 
with a pad of soft tissue capping the spines in the dorsal fins so as 
to prevent injury to the internal tissues of the mother. 

The abundance of Spiny Dog-fish in America and elsewhere has 
led to various investigations into the possibilities of utilising them 
commercially. Both the skin and the oil from the liver are valuable, 
but one of the main difficulties in starting the industry seems to be 
the reluctance of the fishermen to bring into port an adequate and 
steady supply of the fish. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Nasal flap simple, triangular. Grey, with white spots . . acanlhias. 

II. Nasal flap bilobed. Colour uniform ..... acutipinnis. 

Squalus acanthias (Rond.). 
Piked or Spiny Dog-fish. 
1895. Smitt, Skandin. Fish., p. 1158, pi. lii, figs. 1, 2, text-figs. 
338, 339. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 149. 
1922. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 48. 
Snout acutely pointed. Nasal flaps simple. Dorsal fin spines 
not grooved (laterally). Preoral length of snout greater than distance 



48 Annals of the South African Museum. 

from eye to 1st gill-slit. Pelvics mncli nearer 2nd dorsal than 1st 
dorsal. (Plate II, fig. 7.) 

Length. — Up to 700 mm. 

Colour. — Slaty grey, with irregularly scattered white spots on back 
and sides, lighter below. 

Locality. — Ofi Table Bay and Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Atlantic coasts of Europe and N. America, Medi- 
terranean. 

Squalus acutipinnis Eegan. 

The Common Cape Dog-fish. 

1908. Eegan, Ann. Natal Mus., vol. i, p. 248, pi. xxxvii. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 152. 

Snout bluntly pointed. Nasal flaps bilobed. Dorsal fin spines 
not grooved. Pectoral in ^ when laid back extending well beyond 
vertical from hind end of base of 1st dorsal, apex acute. Pelvics 
midway between 1st and 2nd dorsals. 

Length. — Up to 800 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform greyish ; pupil emerald green, iris same colour as 
body. 

Locality. — Table Bay to Natal, to 100 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Mauritius. 

It is open to doubt whether acutipinnis is specifically distinct from 
the European blainvilli (Risso). The pectoral fin is said to be longer 
and sharper in the former, but it must be noted that in acutipinnis 
this fin is considerably more acute in the <S than in the ? and young. 
The Australian megalops Macleay is another very closely allied 
species which may not merit a separate name. The relationships 
of these forms, and also of fernandinus Molina, should be carefully 
studied. Gilchrist (1922, Mar. Biol. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 48) 
states that the spine of the 2nd dorsal is longer in fernandinus than 
in acutipinnis, and that the fins are edged with white, and identifies 
the South African form with fernandinus. Regan, however, places 
fernandinus among the species which have simple nasal valves, 
but among the many hundreds of specimens that I have handled I 
have found none with simple nasal flaps. I consider, therefore, 
that the name of fernandinus is inapplicable to the South African 
specimens. 

Gen. Etmopterus Raf. 

1810. Rafinesque, Caratteri Nuovi Gen., p. 14. 

Dorsal fins with spines which are doubly grooved laterally, 2nd 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 49 

larger than 1st, behind pelvics. A long, de.ep groove on each side 
of transverse mouth. Teeth of lower jaw very oblique, inner margin 
forming a cutting edge, upper teeth erect, tricuspid. Spiracle wide, 
above and behind eye. Nostrils on lateral margin of snout. Gill- 
slits narrow. Dermal denticles placoid, granular, or setiform. 

The species of this genus possess luminous organs. These are 
minute but very numerous and aggregated into lines and patches 
covering ve^y nearly the entire ventral surface of the body. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Dermal denticles close-set, irregularly arranged .... spinax. 
II. Dermal denticles arranged in longitudinal series, at least on tail. 

a. Pelvic fins nearer caudal than pectorals . . . granulosus. 

b. Pelvic fins equidistant from caudal and pectorals . . . lucifer. 

^Etmopterus spinax (Linn.). 
Phosphorescent Dog-fish. 

1758. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 233. 

1913. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxxvi, p. 223. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Kep., iii, p. 49. 

Dermal denticles setiform, close-set, irregularly arranged. Length 
of base of 1st dorsal (excluding spine) ^ distance from 2nd. Pelvics 
much nearer caudal than to pectorals. 

Length. — Up to 530 mm. 

Colour. — Dark brown or black. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point, 417 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of Europe, to 
365 fathoms. 

Etmopterus granulosus (Giinth.). 

1880. Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. i, p. 19, pi. ii, fig. C. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 49. 

Dermal denticles covering whole body except the median ventral 
surface of snout, the circumference of the mouth, an area surrounding 
the base of each dorsal fin, and the rays of the fins including the 
caudal ; the denticles are widely enough spaced to show the smooth 
skin in between, and on the sides of the tail are arranged in longi- 
tudinal rows, more marked in (J than $. Length of base of 1st dorsal 
(excluding spine) i distance from spine of 2nd dorsal. Pelvics nearer 
caudal than pectoral. Length of head to pectoral nearly twice its 
greatest width. (Plate II, fig. 8.) 

Length. — Up to 450 mm. 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 4 



~50 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Colour. — Uniform dark brown or black. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 250-800 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Chile to Hawaiian Islands, 222-498 fathoms. 

Two young specimens (cJ and ? 210 mm.) deserve mention because 
they resemble very closely the adult of the North Atlantic species 
spinax. Seeing that they were caught in the same locality as the 
adults described above, one cannot but presume that they should 
be considered as the same species. 

The proportions of the fins are the same, but the dermal denticles 
are very much more closely set, with a scarcely perceptible longi- 
tudinal arrangement on the tail. They cover the whole body, right 
up to the margins of the fins, except for a narrow ring around the 
mouth. But for this smooth ring around the mouth the specimens 
are in perfect agreement with niger. 

^Etmoptenis lucifer Jord. and Snyd. 

1902. Jordan and Snyder, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxv, p. 79. 

1903. Jordan and Fowler, ibid., vol. xxvi, p. 634, fig. 5. 
1913. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. ZooL, vol. xxxvi, p. 226. 
1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., iii, p. 49. 

Dermal denticles setiform, regularly arranged in longitudinal rows. 
Length of base of 1st dorsal i distance from 2nd. Pelvics equidistant 
from caudal and pectorals. 

Length. — Up to 380 mm. 

Colour. — Brown or black. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 113-152 fathoms. 

Distrihution. — Japan. 

Gen. AcAXTHiDiUM Lowe. 

1839. Lowe, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, p. 91. 

Two dorsal fins, with spines which are laterally grooved, 2nd spine 
much longer than 1st. A long, deep groove on either side of the 
transverse mouth. Nostrils transverse. Snout produced. Teeth 
triangular, unicuspid, the cusps erect or oblique. Inner angles of 
pectoral not produced. Gill-slits narrow. Dermal denticles pedun- 
culate, with 3-4 spines. 

All the species of this genus are very closely related, and appear 
to dift'er only in slight variations in the positions of the fins and the 
other proportions. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 51 

* Acanthidium natalense Gilcli. 
Long-snouted Spiny Dog-fish. 

1922. Gilclirist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., iii, p. 49, pi. vii, fig. 2. 

Inner angle of pectoral (according to figure) quadrate and extending 
to vertical from origin of 1st dorsal. Eye nearer to pectoral than 
to end of snout. Teeth not described. (Plate III, fig. 1.) 

Length. — ? 

Colour. — ? 

Locality. — Natal coast, 160 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Gen. Centroscymnus Boc. and Cap. 

1864. Bocage and Capello, Diag. fam. Squal., p. 3. 

Two dorsal fins, with laterally grooved spines which are small, with 
only the points projecting, or quite hidden. Mouth with a deep groove 
on either side. Nostrils oblique. Snout produced. Teeth unicuspid, 
dissimilar ; those in upper jaw small, narrow, erect ; those in lower 
jaw broad with oblique cusps. Inner angle of pectoral not produced. 
Dermal denticles pedunculate, with flattened ovoid crown. Pupil 
circular. 

Centroscymnus fuscus Gilch. and von B. 
Slender -toothed Spiny Dog-fish. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep. 
vii, p. 2. 

Preoral distance equal to distance between eye and 1st gill-slit. 
Second dorsal about equal to 1st, points of spines exposed. Dermal 
denticles on head with 3-5 keels, those on body with concave crowns. 

Length.- — 1100 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform brown, pupil emerald green. 

Locality.— 0^ St. Helena Bay (32° S., 16° E.), 280 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Gen. Atractophorus Gilch. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., iii, p. 48. 

Two dorsal fins, with spines which are laterally grooved, the 2nd 
being also barbed ; 1st dorsal larger than 2nd but the spines subequal. 
A long, deep groove on either side of the transverse mouth. Nostrils 



52 Annals of the South African Museum. 

transverse. Eye large. Snout short. Teeth unicuspid, cutting edge 
horizontal except in the median upper tooth which is erect. Inner 
angle of pectoral produced. Gill-slits narrow. Dermal denticles 
acuminate, with converging raised ridges. 

This genus is very closely related to Centrophorus, difiering only 
in the barbed 2nd dorsal spine. In fact, there seems little reason for 
separating this one species into a new genus. 

^Atractophorus armatus Gilch. 
Barbed Spiny Dog-fish. 
1922. Gilchrist, loc. cit., p. 48, pi. vii, fig. 3. 
The 2nd dorsal spine barbed. (Plate III, fig. 2.) 
Length. — 355 mm. 
Colour. — ? 

Locality. — Natal coast, 160 fathoms. 
Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Fam. 9. Peistiophoeidae. 
Saw-sharks. 
Body elongate. Skull hyostylic. Two dorsal fins, without spines, 
1st in front of pelvics. Anal absent. Spiracles present. Teeth 
small, with conical cusp on broad base, arranged in several series. 
Snout produced into a long flat rostrum armed with teeth along each 
side ; the teeth are fixed to the dermis and not embedded in sockets. 
Nictitating membrane absent. Nostrils not connected with mouth. 
A pair of long tentacles on ventral surface of rostrum. Five or six 
gill-slits, lateral in position, all in front of pectoral, which is normally 
shaped. 

The Saw-sharks are not to be confounded with the true Saw-fishes 
(Pristidae) which belong to the Hypotremata, with ventral gill-slits. 

With the exception of one species in Japan, the family is confined 
to Australasia and South Africa. 

As regards the structure of the vertebra of Pliotrema warreni, 
Ridewood (1921, Ph. Tr. Eoy. Soc, B379, vol. ccx, p. 374, fig. 24B) 
states that there are 8 radiating projections from the central calcified 
ring. His figure is taken from a vertebra just behind the 1st dorsal 
fin, though he has apparently examined a complete skeleton. In 2 
adult specimens I find that behind the 1st dorsal there are 8 rays, 
but that anterior to this fin there are 10 rays. In embryos (290 mm.) 
there is a calcified ring, but no projecting rays. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 53 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Five gil] -slits, rostral teeth not serrated .... Pristiophorus. 

II. Six gill-sUts, rostral teeth serrated behind .... Pliolrema. 

Gen. Pristiophorus M. and H. 

1838-41. Muller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 98. 
Five gill-slits. Rostral teeth not serrated. 

* Pristiophorus cirratus (Latham). 
Saw-shark. 

1794. Latham, Tr. Linn. Soc. London, vol. ii, p. 281, pi. xxvi, 
figs. 5, 27. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 153. 

Tentacle on rostrum a little nearer tip of snout than to nostril 
(adult), or a little nearer nostril (young) ; in other species it is much 
nearer to the nostril. 

Length. — Up to 1200 mm. 

Locality. — False Bay. 

Distribution. — Australian seas. 

The record of this species from South African waters rests on the 
identification of a specimen from False Bay by Dr. Boulenger. Dr. 
Gilchrist thinks it possible that the specimen was really a Pliotrema 
warreni, and that Boulenger either overlooked the 6th gill-slit or 
regarded it as an individual aberration. The presence of this shark 
in these waters must, therefore, be considered doubtful. 

Gen. Pliotrema Regan. 

1906. Regan, Ann. Nat. Mus., vol. i, pt. 1, p. 1. 

Six gill-slits. Rostral teeth serrated behind. Pupil subcircular. 

Pliotrema warreni Regan. 
Warren's Saw-shark. 

1906. Regan, loc. cit., p. 1, pi. i (head). 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 152. 

Embryos 290 mm. long, with the yolk-sac attached, have the 
rostral teeth folded back beneath the skin. These embryos also 
show 2 other rows of teeth on the under side of the rostrum, each 
one extending from the tip to the tentacle, close to the lateral margin ; 



54 Annals of the South African Museum. 

like the marginal teeth they are folded back beneath the skin. These 
teeth on the under side become lost with age, and in some adults 
scarcely one remains. (Plate III, fig. 3.) 

Length. — Up to 810 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform greyish ; pupil emerald green. 

Locality. — False Bay to Natal, 30-50 fathoms. 

Type in British Museum. 

Fam, 10. Squatinidae. 
Angel-sharks or Monk-fish. 

Body elongate, but depressed. Head broad. Skull hyostylic. 
Mouth terminal, not connected by grooves with the nostrils, which 
are situate on the edge of the snout and furnished with skinny 
flaps. Spiracles present. Tail with well-developed lower lobe. Two 
dorsal fins, without spines, 1st on tail behind pelvics. Anal absent. 
Pectoral large, produced forwards along the side of the head, but 
not fused to it. Gill-slits close together, lateral, in front of pectoral. 
Teeth conical. 

Viviparous ; the European species produces about 20 young at a 
time. 

Widely distributed in temperate and tropical regions. 

The Angel-sharks are frequently classified among the Skates, but, 
apart from a similarity in body form, they possess all the features 
which characterise the Pleurotremata. 

Only one genus. 

Gen. Squatina Dum. 

1806. Dumeril, Zool. Analyt., p. 102. 
With the characters of the family. 

Squatina africana Regan. 
South African Angel-fish. 

1908. Regan, Ann. Nat. Mus., vol. i, pt. 3, p. 248, pi. xxxviii. 

1916. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 3, 
p. 284. 

Upper surface, with small tricarinate dermal denticles ; irregular 
groups of larger tubercular denticles on the supraoccipital region and 
occiput. No series of enlarged denticles down the middle of the 
back. Abdomen naked. Lower surface of pectoral and pelvic fins 
with marginal bands of denticles in adult. Upper surface of pectoral 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 55 

in (J with a marginal series of spines. Folds at sides of head not 
produced into lobes. Outer nasal flaps with entire edges ; inner 
flaps with 2 simple prolongations, the outer with a fringed lobe at 
base. (Plate III, fig. 5.) 

Length. — Up to 900 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, with numerous paler spots marked with brown 
reticulations. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Type in British Museum. 

Suborder 2. HYPOTREMATA. 
Skates. 
Gill-slits ventral, all below the pectoral. Upper margin of eye not 
free, but fused with the eyeball. Anterior margin of the pectoral 
joined to side of body or head, all the rays reaching the fin-margin. 
Suprascapulae united either to the vertebral column or to one another 
above it. Skull with preorbital cartilages attached to nasal capsules. 
Palatoquadrate without a process, not articulated or attached to skull. 
Hyomandibular cartilage without any rays ; the 1st gill is supported 
entirely by rays from the lower half (ceratohyal) of the cartilage in 
front of the 1st gill-slit. 

Key to the South African families. 

I. No electric organs (Batoidei). 

A. Dorsal and caudal fins well developed. 

1. Snout produced in a long rostrum . . . Prisiidae. 

2. Snout not produced ...... Rhinobatidae. 

B. Dorsal and caudal fins reduced. 

1. No serrate spines on tail ...... Eaidae. 

2. One or more serrate spines on tail (occasionally absent). 

a. Eyes dorsal, well within lateral margin . . Dasybatidae. 

b. Eyes lateral, or at least near lateral margins. 

i. Snout more or less pointed. Teeth large, tessellated 

Myliobatidae. 

ii. Snout blunt. A pair of cephalic fins on either side of 

mouth. Teeth minute . . . Mobulidae. 

II. Electric organs between head and pectoral fin (Narcobatoidei) Torpedinidae. 

A useful, though not quite complete, account of the Skates and 
Rays {Platosomia) collected during the course of the Marine Survey 
is given by von Bonde and Swart (Fish. Mar. Invest. Special Report, 
V, 1923). The present author disagrees with these collaborators in 
several points. 



56 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Group 1. BATOIDEI. 

No electric organs, at least not between head and pectoral (see 
under Raiidae). Suprascapula united to vertebral column. The 
cartilage supporting rostrum, if developed, is unpaired. Praeorbital 
cartilages simple, short, not projecting forwards. 

Fam. 1. Pristidae. 
Saw-fishes. 

Body elongate, shark-like, though somewhat depressed. Skull 
hyostylic. Snout produced into a long flat rostrum bearing teeth 
along each margin, the teeth being embedded in calcified sockets. 
No tentacles on rostrum. Tail well developed, with lateral fold and 
usually with distinct lower lobe. No nictitating membrane. Spir- 
acles rather large. First dorsal opposite or close to pelvics. Pectoral 
not fused with head. Teeth minute, obtuse, numerous. 

The true Saw-fishes are widely distributed in tropical and sub- 
tropical seas, and frequently ascend rivers for considerable distances. 
They are said to attack large marine animals and to hack off portions 
of flesh by means of the saw. As they live on the bottom like Skates, 
it is more probable that they use the saw for routing out small organ- 
isms from the sand. But when entangled in fishermen's nets, or 
otherwise angered, they prove formidable antagonists. 

Viviparous. 

Gen. Pristis Latham. 

1794. Latham, Tr. Linn. Soc. London, vol. ii, p. 276. 
With the characters of the family. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. First dorsal almost entirely in advance of peh^ics. A small lower caudal lobe. 
Seventeen to twenty -one pairs of rostral teeth . . perrotteti. 

II. First dorsal opposite pelvics. Xo lower caudal lobe. Twenty-four to thirty- 
two pairs of rostral teeth ...... pectinatus. 

Pristis perrotteti M. and H. 

1909. Boulenger, Freshwater Fish. Afr., vol. i, p. 3, fig. 2. 

Seventeen to twenty-one pairs of rostral teeth, not trenchant 
behind, and distant from one another about 3 times the basal width 
of each. Outer angle of pectoral moderately sharp. First dorsal 
almost entirely in advance of pelvics. A small lower caudal lobe. 



PLATE III. 



PIG. 

1. Acajithidiura natalense Gilch. (after Gilchrist) 

2. Atradophorus armatus Gilch. (after Gilchrist) 

3. Pliotrema warreni Regan (original) 

4. Pristis pectinatus Latham (original) 

5. Squatina africana Regan (J (original) . 

6. Rhynchobatus djeddensis (Forsk.) (original) 

7. Rhinobatus holcorhynchus Norm, (original) 



TKXT-i'AGE 

51 
52 
53 
57 
64 
58 
61 



Ann. S. Afr. Mus., Vol. XXI. 



Plate III. 




^ H a.i,1. 



^ein <t- Co., Ltd. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 57 

Length. — Up to 10 ft. 
Colour. — Uniform greyish. 
Locality. — Zambesi, Shire, and other rivers. 

Distribution. — Tropical seas, ascending rivers : Indian Ocean, 
West Africa, West Indies. 

Pristis pectinatus Latham. 
Saw-fish. 

1794. Latham, Tr. Linn. Soc. London, vol. ii, p. 278, pi. xxvi, 
fig. 2 (rostrum). 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 153. 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix,p. 320. 

Twenty-four to thirty-two pairs of rostral teeth, not trenchant 
behind, the anterior ones close together. Outer angle of pectoral 
very obtuse. First dorsal opposite pelvics. No lower caudal lobe. 
(Plate III, fig. 4.) 

Length. — Up to 15 ft. 

Colour. — Uniform greyish. 

Locality. — Natal coast, Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — Tropical seas : Indian Ocean, West Indies. 

Specimens up to 79| lb. (Durban) and 450 lb. (Tugela Mouth) 
have been taken on rod and line (R. Robinson, Natal Fish. Rep. for 
1919, p. 51). 

Fam. 2. Rhinobatidae. 
Shovel-nosed Skates. 

Body elongate, but depressed. Head produced in a long pointed 
snout. Skull hyostylic, with rostral cartilages. Tail well developed, 
with lateral fold, with or without lower lobe. Dorsal fins well de- 
veloped, 1st opposite or behind pelvics. Pectorals large, fused with 
sides of head, the fin-rays extending forwards as far as the snout. 
Teeth obtuse, numerous, pavement-like. 

Distributed over all tropical and subtropical regions, some of the 
species attaining a considerable size. Viviparous. 

I follow the older authors in keeping the two genera Rhynehobatus 
and Rhinobatus, the former including the two species ancylostomus 
and djeddensis, although there is much to be said in favour of putting 
djeddensis into Rhinobatus (see Annandale, Mem. Ind. Mus., vol. ii, 
p. 9, 1909). 



58 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Key to the Soutli African genera. 

I. First dorsal opposite pelvics. Dental surfaces undulated . RhyncJiobalus. 

II. First dorsal behind pelvics. Dental surfaces flat . . . Rhinohatus. 

Gen. Rhynchobatus M. and H. 

1838-41. Miiller and Henle, Plagiost. 

First dorsal opposite pelvics. Anterior margin of pectoral free. 
Dental surfaces of jaws undulated ; teeth obtuse, pavement-like. 
Caudal fin with well-developed lower lobe. 

Rhynchohatus djeddensis (Forsk.). 
The Shovel-nose. 

1878. Day, Fish. India, p. 730, pi. cxcii, fig. 1. 

The dental surfaces of the jaws are only feebly undulated. Snout 
pointed. Two very small folds on hind margin of spiracle. A row 
of blunt, backwardly directed tubercles above each orbit, one median 
row from nape to 1st dorsal and between 1st and 2nd dorsals, and 
another submedian row on each shoulder. (Plate III, fig. 6.) 

Length. — Up to 9 ft. 8 in. 

Colour. — Greyish, with interrupted longitudinal bands of lighter 
spots and rings, pectoral and pelvic fins also frequently spotted, 
usually a dark spot at base of each pectoral. 

Locality. — Natal, Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — Indian Seas, Malay Archipelago, East coast of 
Africa. 

This giant skate is a well-known visitor to Delagoa Bay where 
it affords splendid sport to anglers. It has been recorded from 
Zanzibar, so that it is not surprising to find it coming further down 
south with the Mozambique current. There is no certain record of 
it reaching Natal.* 

It appears, however, to be only a visitor to Delagoa Bay. A 
report that it can be found all the year round in a certain part of the 
Bay lacks confirmation. The regularity with which the Shovel- 
noses make their appearance off the Polana beach at Lourenzo Mar- 

* From the following quotation apparently this species is a regular visitor to 
Natal : " The large spotted variety, which is so common along our shores in the 
summer months, and also in the spring, is one of the gamest of our fishes ... it 
attains a very large size, the record here being 240 lb., but at Delagoa Bay a 
specimen of 439 lb. has been captured " (Robinson, Natal Fish. Rep. for 1919, 
p. 50). ]Mr. Robinson identifies it as a variety of Rhinobatus columnae. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 59 

ques just about Christmas-time is noteworthy. It is possible that 
these visitors are females which have come into the shallower waters 
of the Bay for purposes of giving birth to their young, although 
unfortunately in the records of captures there is only one instance in 
which the sex is stated (female). 

These fish are angled for with rod and line of special construction ; 
even so, it is only to be expected that though many are hooked, but 
few are landed. The largest specimens hitherto recorded seem to be : 
weight 343 lb., length 9 ft. 8 in. ; and 432 lb., length not stated. 
The latter was a female. 

Gen. Rhinobatus B1. and Schn. 

1801. Bloch and Schneider, Syst. IchthyoL, p. 353. 

First dorsal far behind pelvics. Dental surfaces of jaws not undu- 
lated ; teeth obtuse, pavement-like, each with a faint transverse 
ridge. Caudal fin without lower lobe. A bifid flap of the iris pro- 
jecting over the round pupil from the upper side. 

Although the term Shovel-nose Skates is frequently used to desig- 
nate the members of this genus, it is better to keep this name for 
the skates belonging to the preceding genus. For the members of 
this genus the term Sand-sharks is used, though they are not sharks 
at all. But the name appropriately indicates the nature of the 
habitat where these fish are usually found, namely, on sandy bottoms. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Spiracle with two folds. 

A. Length of nostril equal to space between inner angles of nostrils and about 

^ width of mouth ...... annulatus. 

B. Length of nostril nearly twice space between inner angles of nostrils and 

A width of mouth ...... fiolcorhynchus. 

II. Spiracle with one fold. 

A. Anterior nasal valves expanded inwards and almost meeting in middle 

line .......... blocJii. 

B. Anterior nasal valves not expanded inwards . . . ohhisus. 

Rhinobatus annulatus M. and H. 
Spotted Sand-shark ; Zandkruiper. 
1841. Miiller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 116. 
1849. Smith, lUustr. Zool. S.A. Pisces, pi. xvi. 
1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 155 {columnae). 
1923. Von Bonde and Swart, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., v, p. 3 
{rhinobatus). 



60 



Annals of the South African Museum. 



Distance between inner margins of spiracles twice in preorbital 
length, of snout. Distance between external angles of nostrils about 
half distance between mouth and tip of snout. Length of nostril 
subequal to space between inner angles of nostrils and about half 
width of mouth. Anterior nasal flaps expanded inwards and almost 
meeting in middle line ; hind lobe of posterior flap not reaching inner 
angle of nostril by ^ length of latter. Mouth wider than length of 
nostril. Two projections from posterior margin of spiracle. A 
median series of enlarged spines which are worn down in adult, leaving 





Fig. 9. 



-Diagrams of the mouth and nostrils of A, Rhinobatus annulatus ; 
B, R. blochi ; C, R. holcorhynchus. 



only the bases. In young there are also spines around anterior and 
internal margins of eyes and one or two on shoulders, all of which are 
lost in adult. Rostral cartilages convergent in front, separate 
throughout their length. Snout somewhat pointed, its margins 
nearly straight. 

Length. — ^Up to 900 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish, with lighter vermiculations and scattered round 
white spots each with a darker centre, uniform lighter below ; iris 
and flap golden brown, pupil black. 

Locality. — Simon's Bay to Natal. 

Closely allied to the Mediterranean columnae, but distinguished by 
the anterior nasal flaps being more expanded inwards so as nearly 
to meet one another. Although listed by von Bonde and Swart 
(under the name rhinobatus) there is no evidence to show that the 
Mediterranean species occurs in South Africa. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 61 

Rhinobatus holcorhynchus Norm. 
Unicolourous Sand-shark. 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 318. 

1925. Fowler, Ann. Nat. Mus., vol. 2, p. 195, fig. 1 {natalensis). 

Distance between inner margins of spiracles a little over twice in 
preorbital length of snout. Distance between external angles of 
nostrils If in distance from mouth to tip of snout. Length of nostril 
nearly twice space between inner angles of nostrils, and 4 width of 
mouth. Anterior nasal flaps expanded inwards, but not extending 
nearer to median line than inner angle of nostril ; hind lobe of pos- 
terior flap extending almost to inner angle of nostril. Two projections 
from margin of spiracle. A feeble series of slightly enlarged spines 
down the middle of the back. Rostral cartilages separate and almost 
parallel throughout their length. Snout pointed, its margins straight. 
(Plate III, fig. 7.) 

Length. — Up to 1050 mm. (South African Museum.) 

Colour. — Brownish or greyish above ; lighter below, tip of snout 
black. 

Locality. — Natal and Zululand, to 45 fathoms. 

Type of holcorhynchus in British Museum. 

Close to the Indo-Pacific schlegeli M. and H., with which species 
I had in fact identified the large museum specimen. As Mr. Norman 
has seen a specimen of schlegeli I accept his opinion that holcorhynchus 
is distinct. 

Rhinobatus blochi M. and H. 
Bloch's Sand-shark. 

1841. Miiller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 115, pi. xxxvii, fig. 1. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 154. 

Distance between inner margins of spiracles 1^ in preorbital length 
of snout. Distance between external angles of nostrils § distance 
from mouth to tip of snout. Length of nostril about equal to space 
between inner angles of nostrils and about half width of mouth. 
Anterior flaps of nostrils continued inv ards, but separated by a space 
about equal to -J- length of nostril ; hind lobe of posterior flap not 
reaching hind angle of nostril by about ^ length of latter. One 
projection from margin of spiracle. A median series of enlarged 
spines, worn down in adult, leaving only the bases ; in young, additional 
spines around anterior and internal margins of eye, on shoulders, and 
rostral cai 'ilages. Rostral cartilages convergent in front, separate 
throughout their length. Snout obtuse, its margins convex. 



62 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Length. — Up to 1000 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish, with scattered round white spots ; young with 
white snout, lighter below. 

Locality. — Table Bay to Natal. 

^Rhinobatus halavi (Forsk.). 
Blunt-nosed Sand-shark. 

1841. Miiller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 122, pi. xxxvii, fig. 2 [obtusus). 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 155 {obtusus). 

Distance between outer angles of nostrils about § in preoral length 
of snout. Anterior nasal flaps not dilated inwards. Back with 
distinct denticles, but no median series of spines. Rostral cartilages 
confluent in their anterior third. Snout somewhat obtuse. 

Length. — Up to 750 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish or brownish, lighter below. 

Locality. — Natal. 

Distribution. — Red Sea, Indian and East Indian seas. 

Fam. 3. Raiidae. 
Skates ; Rays. 

Body depressed, forming a rhombic or subcircular disc, the snout 
more or less produced. Skull hyostylic, with rostral cartilages. 
Pectoral fins, extending more or less closely to extremity of snout. 
Two dorsal fins, small, usually near the end of tail. Ventral fins more 
or less deeply notched. Tail with lateral cutaneous folds, but no 
serrate spines ; caudal fin greatly reduced or absent. Teeth numerous, 
tessellate, obtuse, or with small points in c?. Skin more or less covered 
with denticles. A small electric organ is present in most species on 
the sides of the terminal part of the tail. 

Oviparous ; egg-cases rectangular, with a projecting horn at each 
corner, but no tendrils. 

This family is cosmopolitan in distribution, representatives being 
found in all seas, and from shallow water down to considerable depths. 

Only one genus in South Africa. 

Gen. Raia Linn. 

1758. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 231. 

Disc rhombic to subcircular, snout more or less produced. Rostral 
cartilage well developed. Rays of pectoral fins widely separate in 
front, or at least not actually reaching the tip of snout. Nostrils 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 63 

witli 2 valves, the anterior flap folded into a tube, the posterior 
broad, fimbriate, reaching the mouth. Dorsal fins near end of tail, 
which may have a rudimentary caudal fin. Pupil round, with a 
digitate flap depending over it from the iris on the upper side. 

There are often considerable differences between the sexes. The 
1$^ have a series of large, erectile, claw-like spines (tenacula) on the 
upper side of the pectoral fin, and sometimes another series on the side 
of the head. Large bucklers and asperities are usually only found in 
?$. The teeth are obtuse in the $, but often pointed in the cj. 

There is also frequently a more or less marked change in the shape 
of the outline between the young and adult stages. 

This genus contains a large number of species from all parts of the 
world, and ranging from shallow to deep water. The identification 
of the species is often a matter of difficulty, and authors are not 
agreed in all cases on the synonymy of the species. In fact, the whole 
genus requires a critical revision. 

In the following key the number of series of teeth in the upper jaw 
has been used as a convenient means of identifying specimens, but 
this preliminary identification should always be confirmed by examina- 
tion of the other diagnostic characters set out under each species. 

The species described by von Bonde and Swart have been examined 
by myself in regard to this character, and can therefore be included. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Teeth in less than 50 rows. 

A. With large buckler-like spines in $, but mostly absent in ^. Teeth 38-44 

clavata. 

B. No large buckler-like spines in either sex. 

1. Snout abruptly narrowed into a long, sharp point. Teeth 44 

marginata. 

2. Snout not abrupt^ narrowed. 

a. Back for the most part smooth. 

i. Tail with only a median row of spines. Teeth 28-30 

smithi. 

ii. Tail with 3 (median and submedian) rows of spines. 

Teeth 32-36 ..... caudaspinosa. 

iii. Tail with lateral rows as well as a median row of spines. 

a. Eye less than interorbital width. Teeth 46-50 

ocellifera. 
/S. Eye greater than interorbital width. Teeth 40-44 

miyaletus. 

b. Back entirely and closely covered with minute spinelets. 

i. Anterior margin convex. Teeth 32-36 . . plutonia. 

ii. Anterior margin straight. Teeth 40 , durbanensis. 



64 Annals of the South African Museum. 

II. Teeth in more than 50 rows. 

A. Back for the most part smooth. 

1. Median line of back and tail without spines. Teeth 70-80 

quadrimaculata. 

2. A median series of spines at least on tail. Teeth less than 70. 

a. Body without large spines (except on supraorbital in young) 

batis. 

b. Body with large spines. 

i. Teeth 60-70. 

a. Snout obtuse ..... maculata. 

p. Snout acute . . . . . lintea. 

ii. Teeth 54 ...... . naevus. 

B. Back entirely covered with close-set spinelets. 

1. Xo large spines ....... spinacidermis. 

2. A median row of large spines on back and tail . leopardus. 

Raia clavata Rond. 
Buckler Skate ; Thomhack ; Cape Skate. 

1841. Miiller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 151 (capensis). 

1895. Smitt, Skandin. Fish., p. 1104, pi. xlvii, text-fig. 315 {clavata). 

1906. Regan, Ann. Nat. Mus., vol. i, No. 1, p. 3, pi. iii {rhizacanthus). 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 157 {capensis). 

1923. Von Bonde and Swart, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., v, p. 4 
{capensis). 

Width equal to distance from tip of snout to middle of tail. Snout 
somewhat obtuse, anterior margin undulate, outer pectoral angle 
about 90°, hind margin convex. Eye less than interorbital width, 
which is 2J-2| in preocular length of snout. Internasal width less 
than distance of nostril from tip of snout. Rostral cartilages united 
for about half their length. Teeth in 38-44 series, the median ones 
pointed in <?. Whole upper surface, including tail, covered with small 
asperities, more numerous in adult than in young ; lower surface more 
or less covered with asperities in adult, smooth in young ; large 
round bucklers bearing claw-like spines scattered irregularly over 
both surfaces ; tail with a median, and in $ one or two lateral, series 
of spines ; o and young much smoother than adult ?. (Plate IV, 
fig. 2.) 

Length. — Up to 1000 mm. 

Colour. — Brown or greyish, with or without darker spots and oval 
or irregular patches of orange or bufi ; lower surface light, occasionally 
with irregular dark patches ; iris and flap golden brown, pupil black. 

Locality. — Walfish Bay, West coast. Table Bay to Natal waters, 
20-160 fathoms. 



A Monogra'ph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 65 

Distribution. — West coast of Europe from Norway southwards, 
Mediterranean, Madeira, Madagascar. 

Type of rhizacanthus in British Museum. 

Sauvage (Hist. Poiss. Madagasc, p. 1, 1891) regards R. capensis 
as a local variety of clavata, but there appear to be no constant 
characters by which Cape specimens can be distinguished from North 
Atlantic ones. 

The development of the osseous bucklers varies greatly, some 
$? resemble the cj in being almost or entirely devoid of them. As 
a rule the <$ has no other large spines besides the tenacula on the 
pectoral and side of head. 

A complete series of numerous specimens in the South African 
Museum, from 130 mm. in length upwards, shows that rhizacanthus 
is only the young of this species. 

Raia marginata Lacep. 
Long-nosed Skate. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 158. 

1923. Von Bonde and Swart, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., v, 
p. 5 {alba). 

1923. Id., ibid., p. 12 {stabuliforis, non Garman). 

Width equal to distance from snout to middle (or a little more) of 
tail. Snout abruptly narrowed into a long, acute projection. Anterior 
margin concave and strongly undulate, outer pectoral angle about 
90°, hind margin almost straight or even concave near outer angle. 
Internasal width less than distance from nostril to tip of snout. Eye 
less than interorbital width, which is 2^-3 in preocular length of 
snout. Rostral cartilages separate for not quite their basal quarter. 
Teeth 40-46, with sharp points in c^. Upper surface smooth ; one 
spine in front of and usually one behind each orbit ; a median series 
of spines on tail, bordered on each side by a lateral series. Lower 
surface with small 4-rooted spines and asperities on snout and along 
anterior margin of pectoral. (Plate IV, fig. 1.) 

Length.— \J^ to 7 ft. (2100 mm.). 

Colour. — Brownish, uniform or more or less spotted with white, 
darker towards extremities of pectoral fins ; lower surface white, 
tail and margins of pectorals and pel vies often brownish or blackish, 
especially in young. 

Locality. — Walfish Bay, Table Bay, False Bay to Algoa Bay, and 
Natal. 

Distribution. — Coasts of Europe, Mediterranean. 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 5 



66 Annala of the South African Museum. 

Raia smithi M. and H. 
Smith's Skate. 

1841. Miiller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 150, pi. xlix, fig. 1. 

1876. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist,, (4), vol. xvii, p. 390 
{eato7ii). 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 159. 

Width, equal to Ih times length of body, equals distance from snout 
to f length of tail. Snout slightly produced and pointed, a little over 
90°, anterior margin undulate, outer pectoral angle rounded, hind 
margin convex. Eye less than interorbital width, which is about 3 
times in preocular length of snout. Internasal width nearly equal to 
distance of nostril from tip of snout. Rostral cartilages separate 
for nearly half their length. Anterior rays of pectoral extending 
quite close up to (5 mm. in a specimen 310 mm. long) the point of 
snout. Teeth 28-30, not very close together, with points in $ as 
well as in c?. Upper surface with 4-5-rooted asperities on snout, 
interorbital space, anterior, posterior, and outer margins of pectoral, 
back and tail ; with or without a spine in front of orbit ; a median 
series of spines on back and tail, the former sometimes incomplete 
or absent. Lower surface smooth. (Plate IV, fig. 4.) 

Length. — Up to 650 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, with or without whitish spots, lower surface 
white, sometimes blotched with black, as is also tail. 

Locality. — Cape Point, 380-475 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Kerguelen Island. 

Types of both smithi (a dried skin) and eatoni in British Museum. 

There is little doubt that eatoni is a local variety of smithi and 
scarcely deserves a separate name. The South African Museum 
specimen combines characters of both. 

*Raia caudaspinosa von B. and S. 
Sjpiny-tailed Skate. 

1923. Von Bonde and Swart, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., v, 
p. 8, pi. xxi, fig. 1. 

$. — Width equal to distance from snout to a little beyond end of 
pelvic fins. Snout bluntly rounded, scarcely produced, anterior 
margin convex, outer pectoral angle rounded, hind margin convex. 
Eye larger than interorbital width, which is about 2 in preocular 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 67 

length of snout. Tail longer than body. Teeth 32-36, pointed. 
Disc sparsely covered with stellate-based spines, with exception of 
back ; groups of antorbital, postorbital, and suprascapular spines ; 
a triple row (median and submedian) of spines down back and tail,, 
under side smooth. 

Length. — 346 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform dusky grey, light beneath. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 280 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Raia ocellifera Regan. 

Ocellate Skate. 

1906. Regan, Ann. Natal Mus., vol. i, pt. 1, p. 2, pi. ii. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 158. 

Width equal to distance from snout to middle of tail. Snout 
with a short, obtuse projection. Anterior margin undulate, outer 
pectoral angle rounded (broadly rounded in young), hind margin 
convex. Internasal width greater than distance of nostril from tip 
of snout. Eye less than interorbital width, which is 2^ in preocular 
length of snout. Rostral cartilages united in their distal half, which 
is very slender. Teeth 46-50, with sharp points in (J. Upper 
surface smooth, except for a few small asperities on tip of snout and 
along anterior margin of pectoral, stronger in ,$ than $ ; 3-4 spines 
in front of, and 2-3 behind each orbit, one on each suprascapula in 
young, 2 median spines in front of suprascapulae ; a median series, 
beginning above abdomen, farther forward in $ than cj, but in young 
commencing immediately behind suprascapulae, and continued on 
tail to dorsal fin ; tail with one {^) or 2 ($) lateral series of spines 
which are absent in young, under 200 mm. in length. Lower surface 
smooth. 

Length. — Up to 510 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, with or without small darker spots, a large 
blue-black, white-edged circular ocellus near middle of base of pec- 
toral ; lower surface uniform light ; iris and flap golden brown, pupil 
black. 

Locality. — False Bay to Natal, 5-40 fathoms. 

Type in British Museum. 

G-arman {loc. cit., 1913, p. 365) makes rhizacanthus a synonym of 
this species, and includes also capensis M. and H. (non Gmelin). I 
cannot agree with this synonymy. 



68 Annals of the South African Museum. 

*Raia miraletus Linn. 
Angular Skate. 

1862. Coucli, Fish. Brit. Isl., vol. i, p. 112, pi. xxvii. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 158. 

1923. Von Bonde and Swart, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., v, p. 9, 
pi. xxi, fig. 2 {parcomaculata) . 

Snout produced and pointed, anterior margin undulate, outer 
pectoral angle about 90°, hind margin convex. Eye greater than 
interorbital width, and 3 times in length of snout. Internasal width 
less than distance of nostril from tip of snout. Teeth 40-44, sharply 
pointed in (S. Upper surface smooth except tip of snout, head, and 
anterior margin of pectoral, which are rough with small asperities ; 
1-3 spines in front of and behind orbit ; a more or less complete 
median row of spines along back, continued on tail to dorsal fin, and 
flanked on either side by another row. Lower surface of snout 
rough. 

Length. — Up to 500 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, with small, darker, more or less ocellate spots, and 
a white-edged blue-black ocellus at base of each pectoral ; lower 
surface white, with a dark spot below snout. 

Locality. — Agulhas Bank, 36 fathoms ; Natal. 

Distribution. — S. Europe, Mediterranean. 

Type of parcomaculata in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

This species is included on the authority of Dr. Boulenger, who 
identified a specimen sent to the British Museum by Dr. Gilchrist. 
R. parcomaculata seems to be founded on young specimens of this 
species. 

Raia plutonia Garman. 

Atlantic Deep-ivater Skate. 

1881. Garman, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. viii, p. 236. 

1896. Goode and Bean, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxii, p. 27, 
pi. viii, fig. 26. 

1913. Garman, ibid., vol. xxxvi, p. 335, pi. xviii, fig. 1. 

1923. Von Bonde and Swart, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., v, p. 6, 
pi. XX, fig. 1 (albalinea). 

Disc subcircular. Width a little more than distance from snout 
to end of pel vies. Snout rounded, with a small triangular projection, 
anterior margin straight or very slightly concave near the middle, 
outer pectoral angle broadly rounded, hind margin convex. Eye 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 69 

equal to, or slightly longer than, interorbital width, which is 2|-2|- 
in preocular length of snout. Internasal width less than distance 
from nostril to tip of snout. Eostral cartilages united for about 
half their length. Anterior rays of pectoral extending quite close up 
to the point of the snout. Tail longer than width of disc. Teeth 
32-36. Whole upper surface of disc and tail closely covered with small 
spinelets. A row of tubercles on the orbital ridge, one on occiput, 
1-4 on the suprascapula, and a median series from occiput to dorsal 
fin ; one lateral row on each side of the tail, absent or feebly developed 
in the young. Lower surface smooth. 

Length. — Up to 250 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Pale brown, more or less blotched with 
darker brown and white, the latter often forming narrow lines on the 
dark ground colour ; tail transversely banded ; lower surface white. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point and South of Agulhas Bank, 450-560 
fathoms. 

Distribution. — East coast of North America, 333 fathoms. 

Type of albalinea in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Two young specimens, the larger 190 mm. long and 100 mm. across 
the disc, agree perfectly with G-arman's description and figure. 

^Raia durbanensis von B. and S. 
Natal Deep-ivater Skate. 

1923. Von Bonde and Swart, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., v, 
p. 11, pi. xxii, fig. 1. 

Width equal to distance from snout almost to middle of tail. In 
cj snout pointed but not produced, about 90°, anterior margin almost 
straight. In $ snout rounded, without point, anterior margin un- 
dulate. Outer pectoral angle broadly rounded, hind margin moder- 
ately convex. Eye a little less than interorbital width, 4 in preocular 
length of snout. Tail longer than body. Teeth about 40, slightly 
denticulate. Whole upper surface of disc and upper and lateral 
surfaces of tail covered with spinelets ; in (^ 1 large spine in front 
of, 2 behind orbit ; in $ 5 and 3 respectively ; 2 {,$) or 1 ($) supra- 
scapular spines ; a median row from occiput to 1st dorsal in ,^, in ? 
only extending about half-way along tail ; lower surface quite smooth. 

Length.— U-p to 311 mm. 

Colour. — Reddish brown, lighter beneath. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 470 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 



70 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Rata quadrimaculata Risso. 

Sandy Skate. 

1862. Couch, Fish. Brit. IsL, voL i, p. 115, pL xxviii {R. circularis). 
1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 462. 

1913. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxxvi, p. 323 {R. 
quadrimaculata) . 

1923. Von Bonde and Swart, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., v, 

P- 5. 

Width scarcely more than distance from tip of snout to end of 
pelvics. Snout somewhat obtuse, with a broad and short triangular 
projection, anterior margin undulate, outer pectoral angle broadly 
rounded, hind margin convex. Eye equal to interorbital width, 
which is 2J in preocular length of snout. Internasal width less than 
distance from nostril to tip of snout. Rostral cartilages united for 
about half their length. Teeth 70-80, sharply pointed in both sexes 
(adults). Upper surface more or less covered with scattered stellate- 
rooted asperities ; a row of spines on the supraorbital ridge and a 
triangular patch between occiput and suprascapula, a more or less 
complete series on either side of median line of back, 2 lateral rows 
on either side of tail ; the median line of back and tail is devoid of 
spines. Lower surface with tip of snout rough. (Plate IV, fig. 5.) 

Length. — Up to 1500 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, uniform, or with darker spots or light, dark-edged 
ocelli ; young mostly with a round black spot marbled with yellow 
on each shoulder, under surface light ; iris and flap golden brown, 
pupil black. 

Locality. — Off West coast, off Cape Peninsula, and Saldanha Bay, 
100-250 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Coasts of Europe and Madeira. 

Raia bat is Linn. 
Smooth or Common European Skate. 

1895. Smitt, Skandin.Fish., p. 1120, pi. xlviii, and text-figs. 322, 323. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 156. 

Width scarcely greater than length (of disc). Snout long, produced, 
pointed, anterior margin deeply emarginate and slightly undulate, 
outer pectoral angle rather pointed, hind margin convex. Eye less 
than interorbital width, which is 3 times in preocular length of snout. 
Internasal width less than distance of nostril from tip of snout. Teeth 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 71 

52-56, sharply pointed in ,^, slightly so in $. Upper surface with 
small asperities, chiefly on snout ; one or two spines in front of and 
another behind orbit in young ; no other large spines on body ; 
1 (cJ) or 3 (?) series on tail. Lower surface rough on snout. 
(Plate IV, fig. 3.) 

Length.— U-p to 1950 mm. (6i ft.). 

Colour. — Brown or dark greenish brown, uniform, or with white and 
dark spots ; lower surface grey, with dark specks. 

Locality. — False Bay and off Cape Point, 34-100 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Coasts of Europe. 

A $ specimen in the South African Museum, 680 mm. long, has a 
single large spine in the middle line between the suprascapulae and 
occiput, and 4 spines on the suprascapular ridge. The dorsal fins are 
separated by 3 spines. 

*Raia maculata Mont. 
Mottled Skate ; Rog. 

1861. Couch, Fish. Brit. Isl., vol. i, p. 104, pi. xxiv. 

1884. Day, Brit. Fish., vol. ii, p. 345, pi. clxxii. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 157. 

1923. Von Bonde and Swart, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., v, 
p. 4 (oculata). 

Snout obtuse, but with a slightly produced tip. Anterior margin 
undulate, outer pectoral angle about 90°, hind margin convex. Eye 
less than interorbital width. Teeth 60-70, somewhat pointed in cj. 
Upper surface nearly smooth, or with small asperities, chiefly on 
snout ; claw-like spines on supraorbital ridge, one or more on supra- 
scapular region, and a median row, somewhat irregular, down back ; 
tail with a median row and usually also lateral rows. Lower surface 
of snout rough. 

Length. — Up to 1000 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, uniform, or with numerous darker brown spots, 
or with a few large white spots, more or less ocellate, on bases of 
pectorals. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — Coasts of Europe, Madeira. 

This species was first recorded by Bleeker in 1860, but no descrip- 
tion of the Cape form is given. Pappe, in 1866, gives a brief descrip- 
tion which unfortunately does not enable one to identify the species 
with certainty. No more recent records apparently exist. It is 



72 Annals of the South African Museum. 

possible that the true maculata does not occur in South Africa, and 
that the specimens so called should be referred to some other species. 

Raia lintea Fries. 
Sharp-nosed Skate. 

1838. Fries, Vet. Ak. Handl, p. 154. 

1870. Gunther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 466. 

1913. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxxvi, p. 329. 

Width only a little greater than length of body, equal to distance 
from end of snout to not quite end of pelvics. Snout produced and 
pointed, the tip acute, anterior margin slightly undulate, outer 
pectoral angle broadly rounded, hind margin convex. Eye less than 
interorbital width, which is 4 times in preocular length of snout. 
Internasal width twice in distance of nostril from tip of snout. Rostral 
cartilages united for about half their length. Teeth 60, with very 
small points (?). Upper surface with stellate-rooted asperities and 
small hooked spines over snout, anterior margins, and posterior parts 
of pectoral ; groups of slightly larger spines in front of and behind 
orbits, on and in front of suprascapular region, and in about 5 irregular 
rows down back, continued along tail to dorsal fin ; sides of tail 
closely set with smaller spines ; lower surface with minute asperities 
on snout. 

Length. — 740 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform brownish grey, light beneath. 

Locality. — West coast, off Cape Peninsula, 200-300 fathoms. 

Distribution . — N . Atlantic . 

Except that the spines on the body, and the teeth, are rather more 
numerous than in the descriptions of the northern form, there is nothing 
to separate the Cape form specifically. The single specimen is a $. 

Raid naevus M. and H. 
Spotted Skate. 

1841. Muller and Henle, Plagiost., pp. 138, 194. 

1913. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxxvi, p. 321. 

Width a little greater than distance from snout to end of pelvics. 
Snout somewhat obtuse, short, only slightly produced. Anterior 
margin undulate, outer pectoral angle broadly rounded, hind margin 
convex. Eye less than interorbital width, which is a little over 3 
times in preocular length of snout. Internasal width less than 



PLATE IV. 



1. Raia marginata Lacep. (J (original) 

2. Raia clavata Rond. (original) 

3. Raia batis Linn, (original) 

4. Raia smithi M. and H. (original) 

5. Raia quadrimaeulata Risso (original) 

6. Raia spinacidermis Brnrd. (original) 

7. Myliohatis aqiiila (Linn.) (original) 

8. Dasybatis pastinaca (Linn.) (original) 



TEXT-PAGE 

65 

64 
70 
66 
70 
73 
82 
77 



Ann. S. Afr. Mus., Vol. XXI. 



Plate IV. 




Keill & Co., Ltd. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 73 

distance of nostril from tip of snout. Rostral cartilages united for 
about half their length. Teeth 54, with short points in (J. Upper 
surface with small asperities on snout, anterior margin of pectoral, 
and sides of tail, more numerous and widely spread in young ; spines 
on supraorbital ridge, one or two on suprascapula, a median row 
from occiput to dorsal fin, flanked on the hinder part of body and on 
tail in larger individuals by another row, sometimes by two rows on 
tail. Lower surface smooth. 

Length. — Up to 700 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, uniform, or (chiefly in young) with numerous 
round dark spots, of which one near base of pectoral is usually more 
prominent and larger than the others, and surrounded by a light 
ring ; under surface light, with usually some irregularly shaped, 
but more or less symmetrically arranged, dark blotches on the pectorals 
and pel vies. 

Locality. — West coast, off Cape Peninsula and Saldanha Bay, 
100-200 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Atlantic coasts of Europe, Mediterranean. 

Raia spinacidermis Brnrd. 
Rough-skinned Skate. 

1923. Barnard, Ann. S.A. Mus., vol. xiii, pt. 8, p. 440. 

?. — Shape of microps (Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. i, pi. iv), but 
a little broader in proportion to length, and snout sharper. Width 
equal to distance from snout to middle of tail. Snout pointed but 
not produced, about 90°, anterior margin almost straight, outer 
pectoral angle broadly rounded, hind margin convex. Eye a little 
less than interorbital width, which is 3f in preocular length of snout. 
Internasal width less than distance of nostril from tip of snout. Rostral 
cartilages narrow and slender, united for a little more than half their 
length. Anterior rays of pectoral reaching to 25 mm. from tip of 
snout. Tail a little shorter than length of body ; the lateral cutaneous 
fold confined to the posterior third. Teeth 60, median ones slightly 
pointed. Whole upper surface of disc and upper and lateral surfaces 
of tail covered with closely set, fine setiform spinules (resembling the 
skin of Spinax, whence the name), larger and closer on the tail than 
elsewhere ; large spines entirely absent ; lower surface of tip of snout 
with a few spinelets ; lower surface of tail, except the median line 
of the basal f, with setiform spinules similar to those on upper 
surface. (Plate IV, fig. 6.) 



74 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Length. — 600 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Pale slaty grey, becoming sHghtly darker 
towards hinder margins of pectorals, and distinctly darker on pelvics 
Lower surface similarly and as deeply coloured as upper surface. 

Locality. — South Africa, probably off Cape Point in deep water 
(locality label lost). 

Type in South African Museum. 

This species is represented by a ? only and is noteworthy for the 
entire absence of enlarged spines. 

*i?am leopardus von B. and S. 
Leopard Skate. 

1923. Von Bonde and Swart, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., v, p. 7, 
pi. XX, fig. 2. 

Width equal to distance from snout to only a short distance behind 
pelvic fins. Snout pointed but not produced, about 115°, anterior 
margin convex, outer pectoral angle broadly rounded, hind margin 
convex. Eye subequal to interorbital width, about 2 (according to 
figure) in preocular length of snout. Tail considerably longer than 
body. Teeth 52-56. Whole upper surface of disc and upper and 
lateral surfaces of tail closely covered with spinelets ; 2 antorbital, 
2-3 postorbital, and 2 suprascapular spines ; a median series from 
suprascapular region to 1st dorsal ; lower surface smooth. 

Length. — Up to 247 mm. 

Colour. — Dirty yellow-brown, with numerous dark brown or black 
round spots on disc and tail, front portions of both dorsal fins black, 
lower surface pale. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 40-280 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Fam. 4. Dasybatidae. 
Sting- Rays and Butterfly Rays. 

Body depressed, forming a subcircular or subrhombic disc. Skull 
hyostylic, without rostral cartilages. Pectoral fins extending to 
extremity of snout. Dorsal fins absent or a single small fin near root 
of tail, which has no lateral folds and often no caudal fin, but almost 
always one or more serrated spines. Pelvics usually not notched. 
Teeth numerous, tessellate, obtuse, or with small points. Dermal 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 75 

denticles in varying abundance, sometimes greatly reduced, or 
confined to caudal region, or even absent. 

Viviparous ; only a small number of young produced at a birth. 
In several cases there are developed from the walls of the uterus long 
thread-like filaments, called trophonemata, which secrete a nutritive 
fluid for the nourishment of the embryo. These trophonemata in 
one species of Pteroplatea are inserted through the spiracles into the 
alimentary canal of the embryo. Further information on the repro- 
duction of these rays is needed. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Disc about as broad as long. 

a. Tail long, with serratsd spine ..... Dasybatis. 

b. Tail short, without serrated spine .... Anacanthobatis. 

2. Disc much broader than long. Tail very short . . . Pterojtlatea. 

Gen. Dasybatis Raf. 

(=Trygon Adamson.) 

Sting-Rays. 

1810. Rafinesque, Caratteri Nuovi Gen., p. 16. 

Head and body forming a subrhombic or subcircular disc, never 
much broader than long. Tail elongate, with or without cutaneous 
(rayless) folds, which, if present, do not reach apex ; one or more 
serrate spines ; no dorsal fin. Pelvics not notched. Cutaneous 
processes, varying in number and form, on the floor of the mouth 
behind the teeth. Teeth flattened, usually with a transverse ridge, 
rarely with a backwardly directed point ; the dental bands undulate. 
Skin frequently with tubercles, especially on the tail. A bifid flap of 
the iris projecting over the round pupil from the upper side. 

Sting-Rays are moderate or rather large sized flshes, easily dis- 
tinguished from the true Rays by the serrate spines on the tail, and 
from the Eagle Rays by the teeth and by the tail being always stout, 
though variable in length. 

They are able to inflict serious wounds by means of the spines on 
the tail. No actual poison is secreted, but the wounds are very liable 
to become septic owing to the laceration caused by the saw-like edges 
of the spines and the mucous with which they are covered. Such 
wounds should be thoroughly well washed with antiseptic solution 
as soon as possible after infliction. 

In contrast with the Rays, the Sting-Rays are inhabitants of he 
shallower tropical and subtropical seas. 



76 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Front margin of pectorals longer than, or subequal to, hind margin. 

1. Tail long, tapering, without cutaneous folds .... uarnak 

2. Tail tuberculate, with fold below, no ridge above. 

a. Tail not or scarcely longer than disc, anterior margin convex 

schreineri. 

b. Tail 1^ times length of disc, anterior margin straight or concave 

agulhensis. 

3. Tail longer than disc, with fold below and keel above . . pastinaca. 
IT. Front margin of pectoral considerably shorter than hind margin . purpurea. 

Dasyhatis uarnak (Forsk.). 
Marbled Ray. 

1909. Annandale, Mem. Ind. Mus., vol. ii, p. 22, pi. i, figs. 1, 2 ; 
pi. ii, figs. 1, la ; pi. iii, fig. 2 and text-fig. 2. 

Disc a little wider than long, the anterior margin of pectoral a 
little longer than posterior. Anterior margins nearly straight, snout 
not strongly produced. Lateral and posterior angles of pectoral 
rounded. Back smooth in very young, in adult with a band of 
subcircular or heart-shaped denticles, largest on the median line 
and diminishing in size outwards, the band not definitely limited, 
but not extending on to the pectorals. Tail 3 times (unless mutilated) 
as long as body, tapering, almost whip-like, without any cutaneous 
folds. One or two serrate spines much nearer base than apex of tail. 
Four to five (or seven) equidistant cutaneous processes in mouth. 
Teeth with transverse ridges. Eyes large and prominent. 

Length. — Up to 4 ft. ; 5 ft. across. 

Colour. — Young nearly white, spotted with darker, the ground 
colour darkening to grey in adult, and the spots more or less coalescing 
to form larger spots, blotches, or variegated markings. 

Locality. — Natal, Portuguese East Africa. 

Distribution. — Whole Indian Ocean to East Indies. 

This ray affords good sport in Natal, where the record is one of 
106 lb. (E. Eobinson, Natal Fish. Rep. for 1919, p. 51). 

Dasybatis schreineri (Grilch.). 

Short-tailed Sting-Ray. 

1913. Gilchrist, Tr. Eoy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 33, text-fig. 

Disc a little wider than long, the anterior margin of pectoral also 

longer than the hind margin. Anterior profile broadly convex, with 

a very small median point. Lateral and posterior angles of pectorals 

rounded. Disc smooth. Tail subequal to length of body, tuberculate, 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 77 

with a cutaneous fold below, terminating before tip of tail, deepest 
anteriorly where it is f dianaeter of tail above. A series of 7 median 
spines increasing in length to the 6th, which is about | length of 
tail ; 7th considerably less. Teeth with transverse ridges, in about 
48 rows. Eyes small. 

Length. — 6 ft. (including tail), 4 ft. across. 

Colour. — Dark greenish slate above, whitish below. 

Locality. — False Bay, Agulhas Bank, shallow water to 40 fathoms. 

The type, with the exception of the tail which is now in the South 
African Museum, seems to have been destroyed, the original figure 
being based on a photograph. The original description makes no 
mention of the cutaneous processes in the mouth, nor of several other 
important characters. 

There are also in the South African Museum the tail and jaws of 
another specimen ($). The tail corresponds exactly with the type. 
There are 48 rows of teeth. 

This species appears to be closely allied to the Australasian 
D. brevicaudatus (Hutton). The latter species, however, according to 
Waite (Eec. Canterb. Mus., vol. i, pt. 2, p. 151, pi. xxii, 1909) has 
only 25 rows of teeth. 

A young cJ, 910 mm. in length, which I assign provisionally to 
schreineri, has the following characteristics : tail slightly longer than 
disc, with 1 large spine preceded by a small one, 5 cutaneous flaps 
on the floor of the mouth, teeth in 33 rows, outer angles of internasal 
flap rounded, eyes closer together than spiracles. 

Dasyhatis pastinacus (Linn.). 
Common Sting-Ray. 

1895. Smitt, Skandin. Fish., p. 1098, pis. cccxiii, cccxiv. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 162. 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320. 

Disc a little broader than long, the anterior margin of pectoral 
also longer than hind margin. Anterior margins nearly straight, 
snout produced in a very short point. Lateral and posterior angles 
of pectorals rounded. Disc smooth. Tail about \\ times length of 
body, with a ridge above, a cutaneous fold below, and 1-2 spines. 
Three or, more usually, 5 cutaneous processes in mouth. Teeth in 
42-46 rows, with transverse ridges, sharper in ^ than ?. Eyes about 
as far apart as the spiracles. (Plate IV, fig. 8.) 

Length. — Up to 780 mm. 



78 A^mals of the South African Museum. 

Colour. — Greyish or brownish, mottled, sometimes spotted with 
white, or olivaceous marbled with dark brown, whitish beneath, 
occasionally margined or blotched with darker. 

Locality. — Agulhas Bank to Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic, Madeira. 
(The West Indian and Japanese forms are probably not synonymous, 
and the records from Madagascar require confirmation.) 

The inclusion of this species rested on the record of Bleeker (Visch 
V. d. Kaap., p. 58, 1860) until 1922, when Norman recorded it from 
Natal waters. It appears to be quite common on the Agulhas Bank. 

Dasyhatis agulhensis n. sp. 
The Agulhas Sting-Ray. 

Disc a little wider than long, the anterior margin of pectoral slightly 
longer than the hind margin. Snout obtusely angular with a. small 
median point. Anterior margin straight or slightly concave. Lateral 
and posterior angles of pectoral rounded. Disc smooth, except for 
a group of 3-4 small tubercles (on radiate bases) on point of snout, 
1-2 slightly larger ones in front of each orbit, and 4 compressed spine- 
like scutes in the middle of the back between the posterior gills. 
Tail IJ times length of body, not basally depressed, tuberculate, 
with a cutaneous fold below and extending from beneath spine to 
or almost to tip, about ^ depth of tail ; length of the single spine 
about ^ its distance from base of tail. Eyes small, nearer to- 
gether than the spiracles. Cutaneous flaps on the floor of mouth 9, 
3 median, 1 submedian, and 2 lateral (1 submedian and 1 lateral are 
missing in the specimen, but will probably be found to be present in 
other specimens). Teeth in about 46 rows, not angularly bent, each 
tooth more or less hollowed in the centre. Outer angles of internasal 
flap quadrate. 

Length. — 6 ft. 3 in. (including tail) ; 3 ft. 3 in. across disc. 

Colour. — Uniform bluish slate. 

Locality. — Agulhas Bank. 

Type in South African Museum. 

* Dasyhatis purpurea (M. and H.). 
Purple Sting-Ray. 
MiiUer and Henle, Plagiost., p. 160, pi. lii (in British Museum copy 
of this work). 

Rhombic, front margins much shorter than hind margins, and snout 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 79 

quite obtuse. Outer angles rounded. Tail somewhat shorter than 
body, spine somewhat before middle of tail. Body apparently quite 
smooth. 

Colour. — Dark violet above, lighter below. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

This species is known only from a drawing by Dr. A. Smith in the 
British Museum, and reproduced in Miiller and Henle's work. 

Gen. Anacanthobatis v. B. and S. 

1923. Leiobatis von Bonde and Swart, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., 
V, p. 18 (name preocc. Leiobatus Blainv., 1816. Leiobatis Bleeker, 
1879). 

1923. Anacanthobatis, id., ibid., errata. 

Head and body forming a subcircular or subrhombic disc, a little 
broader than long. Tail shorter than disc, thin, tapering, without 
lateral folds or serrated spine, with very small caudal fin ; no dorsal 
fin. Pelvics notched. A pair of cutaneous flaps on roof of mouth. 
Teeth in numerous rows, rounded, blunt, or pointed. Skin quite 
smooth on both disc and tail. Tenacula present in c?. 

With regard to this form it would seem that the institution of a 
new family is not really necessary. There are characters uniting 
this form with the Raiidae, namely, the notched pelvics and the 
presence of tenacula in the (J, but the rest of its features are 
overwhelmingly Dasybatoid. The absence of the serrated spine is 
paralleled by the genus Vrogymnus M. and H., 1837. 

* Anacanthobatis marmoratus (v. B. and S.). 
Smooth-skinned Ray. 

1923. Von Bonde and Swart, loc. cit., p. 18, pi. xxiii. 

Disc a little broader than long. Tip of snout produced to a sharp, 
acute point. Anterior margin nearly straight, posterior margin 
convex. Lateral angles broadly rounded. Tail {i.e. the free part 
visible above) shorter than disc. Eyes rather larger than spiracles. 
Pectorals fused with pelvics on dorsal surface in $, not in (^. A double 
row of tenacula just behind lateral angles of pectoral in c^. No spines 
or tubercles on skin, but small dermal papillae are scattered over 
upper surface. 

Length. — Up to 245 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, with light ocelli, and very numerous small 
white spots over upper surface. 



80 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 160 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

A single small male specimen of a supposed second species, dubius, 
was described by the same joint authors, differing from marmoratus 
in that the pectorals were fused with the pelvics as in the ? 7nar- 
moratus. I am unwilling to admit this species until more material 
has come to hand. The specimen was caught outside Delagoa Bay 
in 180 fathoms. 

Gen. Pteroplatea M. and H. 
Butterfly Rays. 

1838-41. Miiller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 168. 

Head and body forming a broad lozenge-shaped or subtriangular 
disc, much broader than long. Tail short and somewhat feeble, 
with or without cutaneous folds, with a serrated spine ; a small 
dorsal fin sometimes present. Pelvics not notched. No cutaneous 
processes on floor of mouth. Teeth with a curved base and 1-2 
backwardly directed points. Skin smooth or with minute denticles. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. No tentacle on spiracle . . . . . . ' . . micrura. 

2. A small tentacle on hind margin of spiracle .... natalensis. 

Pteroplatea micrura (Bl. Schn.). 
Atlantic Butterfly Ray. 
1913. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxxvi, p. 414, 
pi. xxxiii, figs. 3, 4. 

(non micrura of Giinther, 1870, or Lloyd, 1909.) 

Disc lozenge-shaped, anterior and posterior margins of pectorals 
convex, a line joining the subacute points of the pectorals passing 
well in advance of the base of tail. No dorsal fin. Tail not exceeding 
half the body length, with upper and lower cutaneous folds. No 
tentacle on the spiracle. Interorbital width about equal to length 
of snout. 

Length. — Up to 6 ft. (across disc). 

Colour. — Dark brown with lighter vermiculations, whitish below, 
tail annulate with darker and Hghter bands. 

Locality. — Agulhas Bank. 

Distribution. — West Indies, Brazil. 

P. hirundo from Madeira and P. japonicum from Japan are both 
closely allied. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 81 

Pteroplatea natalensis G. and T. 

Natal Butterfly Ray'; Short-tailed or Diamond Skate (Natal). 

1911. Gilclirist and Thompson, Ann. S.A. Mus., vol. xi, pt. 2, p. 56. 

Disc subtriangular, the anterior margin slightly undulate, posterior 
margin very slightly convex, a line joining the rounded angles of the 
pectorals passing through the root of the tail. No dorsal fin. Tail 
about half the body length, with upper and lower cutaneous folds. 
A small pointed tentacle on inner posterior margin of spiracle. Inter- 
orbital width greater than length of snout. 

Length. — 280 mm. (across disc). 

Colour. — Light brown, with faint, darker spots, whitish below, tail 
annulate. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Type in South African Museum. 

The original description is both incorrect and misleading in certain 
respects. The paragraph about the dental laminae, for instance, 
obviously refers to another fish. 

The specimen is a very young ^, with non-serrated caudal spine 
and undeveloped teeth. The latter consist merely of a rounded base 
with, in some cases, a minute point. 

The specific determination is difficult. In shape it agrees very 
nearly with P. tentaculata as figured by Annandale (Mem. Ind. Mus., 
vol. ii, p. 40, pi. iv, fig. 4), but is even more triangular. It differs 
from this species in having no trace of a dorsal fin. Possibly when the 
adult of this form is discovered it will be found referable to one of 
the previously known species. 

Fam. 5. Myliobatidae. 

Eagle-Rays. 

Body depressed, forming with the head and pectoral fins a sub- 
rhombic disc. Head prominent, with the eyes lateral. Skull 
hyostylic, without rostral cartilages. Anterior rays of the pectoral 
fins contiguous in front of snout. Pelvics small, not notched. Tail 
very long, whip-like, with a small dorsal fin at its base, followed by 
one or more serrate spines. Teeth large, flat, tessellated, in one or 
more series. Nasal flaps fused, forming a prominent flap overhanging 
the upper lip. Dermal denticles absent or confined to the tail. 

Viviparous. 

The Eagle-Rays grow to a considerable size, and like the Sting-Rays 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 6 



82 Annals of tlie South African Museum. 

frequently inflict bad wounds with the spines on their tails. The 
same remarks as were made with regard to the Sting-Rays (ante 
p. 75) on the dangerous nature of the wounds apply here also. 

They are inhabitants of all warmer seas, and their food consists 
chiefly of Molluscs, for the breaking and grinding the shells of which 
their teeth are admirably adapted. Frequently they do considerable 
damage to oyster beds. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Teeth in several rows. 

a. Pectoral fins continuous at sides of head with rostral fins Myliobatis. 

b. Pectorals not continuous with rostral fins . . . Pteromylaeus. 

2. Teeth in a single row ......... Aelobatis. 

Gen. Myliobatis Dum. 

1817. Dumeril in Cuvier, Regne Anim., vol. ii, p. 137. 

A continuous series of fin-rays from the main portion of pectoral 
fin along the sides of the head to the anterior part of the fin. Dorsal 
fin behind end of ventrals. Teeth in about 7 series, the central 
series much larger than the lateral ones. A circular flap of the iris 
projecting over the pupil from upper side. 

Myliobatis aquila (Linn.;. 
Eagle-Ray or Whip-tailed Ray. 

1895. Smitt, Skandin. Fish., p. 1095, pi. cccxi. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 165. 

Snout broadly rounded. The flanges on sides of head narrow, 
supported by short fin-rays. No conical horn above the orbits. 
Central teeth 3-4 times as broad as long, the width increasing with 
age. Dorsal small, distant from base of ventrals 3 times its length. 
Skin smooth. (Plate IV, fig. 7.) 

Length. — 4| ft. (across disc). 

Colour. — Brown above, whitish below, pupil black. 

Locality. — Walfish Bay, Table Bay to Algoa Bay. 

Distribution . — Atlantic and Mediterranean. The Madagascan 
records probably refer to one of the Indian Ocean forms. 

Gen. Pteromylaeus Gar. 

1913. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxxvi, p. 437. 
Fin-rays of the pectoral fins not continued along the sides of the 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 83 

head to join the rostral rays. Dorsal fin between the ventrals. Teeth 
in 7 series, the central series much larger than the three lateral ones. 

Distinguished from Myliohatis by the narrower head, more pointed 
snout, and more falciform pectoral fins. 

Pteromylaeus hovinus (G. St. Hil.). 
Duck-hilled Sting-Ray. 

1827. G. St. Hilaire, Descr. Egypt., vol. i, p. 323, pi. xxvi, fig. 1. 

1843. Valenciennes, Ichthyol. Canar., p. 98, pi. xxiv {M. episcopus). 

1844. Lowe, Fish. Madeira, p. 99, pi. xv {M. aquila, non Linn.). 

1913. Garman, loc. cit., p. 439. 

Disc not quite twice as wide as long. Snout produced, pointed. 
Dorsal arising immediately behind end of base of ventrals, extending 
to end of ventrals. Tail twice or thrice as long as disc (if not muti- 
lated). Upper surface smooth, except for a band of fine granulations 
down middle of back, sometimes, especially in old specimens, extending 
on to the pectorals ; lower surface smooth, end of tail rough with 
small granulations. 

Length. — Up to 930 mm. (across disc), 1310 mm. (total length). 

Colour. — Uniform brownish or bluish grey, sometimes, in young 
specimens, with more or less distinct whitish cross-bands. 

Locality. — Agulhas Bank. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean and neighbouring parts of Atlantic. 

Gen. Aetobatis Blainv. 

1816. Blainville, Journ. Phys., vol. Ixxxiii, p. 261. 

The fin-rays of the pectoral fin are absent from the side of the head, 
but are continued in the rostral portion of the fin. Dorsal fin between 
the ventrals. Teeth in a single series, the teeth much wider than 
long, sometimes angularly bent. 

Aetobatis narinari (Euphr.). 
Spotted Eagle Ray ; Bonnet Skate (Natal). 

1878. Day, Fish. India, p. 743, pi. cxciv, fig. 4. 

1910. Annandale, Mem. Ind. Mus., vol. iii, pt. 1, p. 4, pi. ii, fig. 2. 

1911. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. S.A. Mus., vol. xi, pt. 2, p. 56. 

1914. Gudger, Publ. Carnegie Instit., Washington, No. 183, p. 243, 
pis. i-x, text-figs. 1-19 (historical account). 



84 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Snout conical, pointed, more pointed in ^ than in ?, its length 
equal to basal width, apex more or less retroverted. Tail 4-5 times 
the body length. (Plate V, fig. 1,) 

Length. — Up to 6 ft. (across disc). 

Colour. — Dark brown above, with bluish white dark-edged spots 
extending over disc and pectoral fins and also sometimes on to head, 
whitish below ; young and very old specimens uniform. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Oceans. 

It is probable that when sufficient material has been accumulated 
and critically examined, the Indian Ocean form wiU prove to be 
specifically distinct from the Atlantic form as maintained by Annan- 
dale. Gudger also expresses the same opinion. If so, the Natal form 
will be referred to the Indo-Pacific species under the name guttata 
Bl. Schn., 1801 {=ocellatus Russell, 1803, and guttata Shaw, 1804). 

Gudger gives a full account of the history of the Spotted Eagle Ray, 
together with such biological data as are known. It appears to be 
an inhabitant of shallow water and to feed exclusively on clams and 
pearl-oysters, its depredations being frequently very serious from an 
economic point of view. It is said to plough up sand and mud banks 
with its pointed snout in search of molluscs, whence the name " sea- 
hog " has been suggested for it. 

They are frequently seen in pairs, but at other seasons apparently 
congregate in large shoals. A case is known where 4 young were 
born after the mother was cast up on the beach. Ordinarily each 
young is said to be born while the mother is in the act of leaping out 
of the water. 

Fam. 6. Mobulidae. 
Devil-fish . 

Body depressed, forming with the head and pectoral fins a sub- 
rhombic disc wider than long. The anterior extension of the pectoral 
fin projects forwards as a cephalic fin or " horn " on either side of the 
mouth and widely separated from its fellow. Ventrals small, un- 
divided. A small dorsal fin at base of tail, which is whip-like, with 
or without serrated spines. Skull hyostyUc, without rostral carti- 
lages. Mouth terminal or ventral. Teeth minute, tubercular or 
shortly columnar, in numerous series. Nasal flaps continuous, 
forming a very short projecting flap extending the whole width of the 
mouth. Eyes lateral. Spiracles behind the eyes. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 85 

Viviparous. As a rule only a single young is produced at a birth, 
though, cases where 2 have been born, or found in utero, are known. 
In the case of the specimen of Manta ehrenbergi captured at Durban 
in August 1921 (see infra) one young was born on the sands in the 
death agony of the mother and two more embryos were found 
inside. 

These gigantic rays are plentiful in all warmer parts of the ocean, 
though on account of their size and the superstitious dread of the 
native fishermen, specimens are but rarely secured. Our knowledge 
of them is therefore very incomplete, and whenever one of these mon- 
sters is stranded or captured it behoves the finder to inform the 
nearest museum or scientific institute immediately, so that the 
specimen may be properly examined and preserved. 

Many are the tales told about the Devil-fish. Most of them are 
either apocryphal or exaggerated, though some have a kernel of truth 
which has been perverted by faulty observation and misinterpretation 
of facts. 

Like the giant sharks, Rhinodon and Cetorhinus, these rays have only 
minute teeth, and are consequently quite incapable of feeding on large 
animals. Their food consists of small, and perhaps also microscopic 
Crustacea, Mollusca, etc. It seems probable that the peculiar pre- 
branchial organs, which are unique among fishes, serve the same 
purpose as the elongate gill-rakers of the above-mentioned sharks, 
namely, to strain the small floating organisms out of the water which 
circulates through the gill-slits. 

An interesting account of the Devil-fish is given by Gill, Smith- 
sonian Misc. Collect., vol. v, pt. 2 (vol. Hi), 1909, p. 155, figs. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Mouth ventral. Teeth in both jaws ...... Mobula. 

2. Mouth terminal. Teeth in lower jaw only ..... Manta. 



Gen. MoBULA Raf. 
(=DiCEROBATis Blnvl. and Cephaloptera auct.) 

1810. Rafinesque, Indice d' Ittiol. SiciL, p. 61. 

Pectoral fins pointed. Tail almost or quite as long as length of 
disc, with a small dorsal at its base ; a serrated spine frequently 
present, but rather small, sometimes absent and replaced by a sub- 
osseous swelling. Mouth ventral, with teeth in both jaws; teeth small, 



86 Annals of the South African Museum. 

numerous, granular, flat, witli 1-4 points behind. Cephalic horns 
projecting straight forwards. Body smooth or with minute tubercles 
on centre of back only ; tail usually with minute tubercles. 

Mobula kuhli (M. and H.). 
Straight-horned Devil-fish. 

1838-41. Miiller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 185, pi. lix, fig. 1. 

1899. Millar, Zoologist, No. 694, April 1899, p. 145, pi. i. 

Teeth in about 50 series. Margin of the pectoral fin between its 
apex and the side of the head nearly straight or slightly convex. 
(Plate V, fig. 2.) • 

Length. — Up to 14|^ ft. (across disc), 6 ft. (length excluding tail). 

Colour. — Dark greenish brown above, whitish below. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indian Ocean, Zanzibar, Japan. 

The specific determination of the specimens recorded from South 
Africa is uncertain. 

Mr. A. D. Millar {loc. cit.) has given a brief notice of a specimen 
14|^ ft. in breadth, which was landed at Durban in April 1898. The 
length of the body was 6 ft., as was also the length of the tail. No 
details of the teeth are given, but the photograph leaves little doubt 
as to the generic position of the specimen. 

The South African Museum possesses a cast of a small specimen 
from Natal, but although the specimen was cast with its mouth open, 
there are no impressions of the individual teeth or of the extent of 
the dental band. The specimen itself appears to have been destroyed. 

In the absence of any data as to the number and extent of the teeth, 
therefore, it seems impossible to decide whether these South African 
specimens should be assigned to eregoodoo Cuv. or kuhli M. and H. 
As the cast in the Scuth African Museum is coloured greenish brown 
on the back, and thus corresponds more with kuhli than eregoodoo, 
and as, moreover, kuhli has been recorded from Zanzibar, I have 
decided to record these specimens provisionally under this name. 

Lloyd (1908, Rec. Ind. Mus., vol. ii) gives figures of stufied specimens 
and of the teeth of M. eregoodoo and a new species, M. thurstoni. 

Gen. Manta Bancroft. 

(=Ceratoptera M. and H.) 

1828-29. Bancroft, Zool. Journ., vol. iv, p. 444. 

Pectoral fin pointed. Tail shorter than length of body, with a 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 87 

small dorsal fin at its base ; no serrated spine, but a small subosseous 
swelling behind the dorsal fin. Mouth terminal, with teeth in lower 
jaw only ; teeth small, numerous, tubercular, erect. Cephalic horns 
curved inwards. Body and tail covered with small sharp tubercles. 

Manta ehrenbergi (M. and H.). 
Devil-fish ; Sea-devil ; Zee-duivel. 

1838-41. Muller and Henle, Plagiost., p. 187. 

1878. Day, Fish. India, p. 745 (the figure given is that of a 
monstrosity of an ordinary Raia). 

1881. Macleay, Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W., vol. vi, p. 381 (M. 
alfredi). 

1908. Lloyd, Rec. Ind. Mus., vol. ii, p. 176, pi. v, figs. 1-3 ; 
pi. X, figs. 1, 2 (0. orissa). 

The teeth do not extend over the whole width of the jaw and are 
arranged in about 200 series. 

A mutilated skin from the old Museum collection (Table Bay, 1873) 
measures 9| ft. across the wings. The width of the mouth is 16 in., 
of the dental band, 10| in. A portion of the dental band is missing, 
but there appear to have been about 230 series of teeth, about 11 in 
each series ; the teeth are shortly columnar, set moderately close 
together, sloping backwards, with obliquely truncate apices (c/. Lloyd, 
loc. cit., text-fig. 1). The tail is broken. 

A specimen, 17 ft. 6 in. across the wings and 13 ft. from mouth 
to end of tail, was caught at Durban on 19th July 1907. Two photo- 
graphs, which appeared in the Natal Mercury Pictorial of 31st July 
1907, show that this specimen belonged to the present species and 
was incorrectly identified by the writer of the Angling Notes in 
that issue with the specimen of the preceding species landed in 1898. 

Another specimen, of which I have seen a photograph, was captured 
at Durban on 2nd August 1921, and measured 18 ft. across the wings 
and 12 ft. from mouth to end of tail. The photograph shows clearly 
the terminal mouth, the incurved horns, and caudal swelling behind the 
dorsal fin, though, unfortunately, the extent of the dental band cannot 
be determined. 

There can be little reasonable doubt that these two specimens 
belong to the same species and should be referred to M. ehrenbergi, 
though it is most desirable that all specimens captured in future should 
be examined by a competent observer before they are mutilated.* 

* See Appendix. 



88 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Colour. — Greenisli grey above ; horns, sides of head, and under 
surface whitish. 

Locality. — Table Bay, East London, Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Red Sea, Indian seas. Probably throughout the 
whole Indo- Australasian region {M. alfredi from New South Wales). 

The Atlantic form, M. vampyrus, differs in having the dental band 
extending over the whole width of the jaw, and having fewer and more 
widely spaced teeth. 

Lloyd has separated C. orissa from eJirenbergi on account of the 
different number of teeth. But as the above-mentioned South African 
Museum specimen is intermediate in this respect, and as so few 
specimens have been accurately examined, it seems probable that 
orissa is but a synonym of ehrenbergi. The number of teeth may 
vary according to age and sex. 

This fish is called the Eagle Ray in Natal, but must not be confused 
with the true Eagle Ray {Myliobatis) . 



Group 2. NARCOBATOIDEL 

Head and body forming a circular or ellipsoidal disc. Electric 
organs between head and pectoral fins. Suprascapulae united to 
one another above vertebral column. The cartilage supporting the 
rostrum paired or branched. Preorbital cartilages greatly expanded, 
branched, extending forwards, supporting the whole anterior margin 
of disc, and widely separating the forward extensions of the pectoral 
fin-rays. 

Fam. TORPEDINIDAE. 

Electric Skates. 

Skull hyostyHc. Dorsal fins two, one, or none ; when present, 
situate on tail. Caudal present. Ventrals not notched. Body 
forming a subcircular disc, rounded in front, tail short and stout, 
with lateral folds. Teeth usually with backwardly directed points, 
which, however, are frequently worn away on the anterior teeth. 

This family is remarkable for the development of a powerful electric 
organ consisting of 2 kidney-shaped masses between the head and 
the pectoral fins. These organs are composed of modified muscular 
fibres, arranged in a number of vertical prisms and abundantly supplied 
with nerves. These nerves are branches partly from the trigeminal 
(5th cranial nerve), but chiefly from the vagus (10th cranial nerve), 



PLATE V. 

FIG. 

1. Aetobatis narinari {'Emphv.) (original) . ■. . . 

2. Mobula kuJili (M. and H.) (original) 

3. Narke capensis (Gmel.) (original) ..... 

4. Narcobatus marnwratus (Risso) (original) .... 

5. Chimaera monstrosa Linn. ^ (Pvfter Smitt, teeth after Garman^ 

6. Callorhynchus capensis Dum. ^ (original) .... 

In figs. 5 and 6, a is the upper dental plate, b the lower. 



TEXT-PAGE 

83 
86 
92 
90 
94 
96 



Ann. S. Air. Mus., Vol. XXI. 



Plate V. 




AeiU & Co., Uil. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 89 

in connection with which there is developed a special electrical lobe 
on the hinder part of the brain. 

The dorsal surfaces of the electric organs are positive to the ventral 
surfaces, and therefore the electric current passes from the latter 
to the former. As the animal lies on the ground, it is the dorsal 
surface with which other animals, either enemies or prey, come into 
contact and which gives off the paralysing shock. 

The discharge of the shocks may be either reflex or under the control 
of the animal. 

The larger individuals are capable of giving a very severe shock, 
but are soon fatigued by repeated discharges. 

Sluggish animals, lying on the bottom, with which the coloration 
of their upper surface usually harmonises, and widely distributed in 
the warmer seas. They appear to be all viviparous. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Two dorsal fins. 

a. Spiracles a little way behind eyes ..... Narcobatus. 

b. Spiracles contiguous with eyes. 

i. Nasal flap much broader than long. .... Narcine. 

ii. Nasal flap only a little broader than long . . Heteronarce. 

2. One dorsal fin ......... . Narke. 



Gen. Narcobatus Blnvl. 
(= Torpedo auctorum.) - 

1816. Blainville, Journ. Phys., p. 262. 

Two dorsal fins. Spiracle some little distance behind eye. Teeth 
with short points, dental plate as wide or almost as wide as jaws. 
A bifid flap of the iris projecting over the round pupil from the 
upper side. 

Key to the South African species. 

A. Spiracles not fringed. First dorsal twice size of 2nd . . nobilianus. 

B. Spiracles fringed. First dorsal not twice size of 2nd. 

1. Diameter of spiracle equal to its distance from eye . . marmoratus, 

2. Diameter of spiracle scarcely half its distance from eye . . smithii. 



Narcobatus nobilianus (Bonap.). 
Electric Skate. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. ii, p. 159 (T. hebetans). 
Spiracles not fringed, their diameter about equal to their distance 



90 Annals of the South African Museum,. 

from eyes. First dorsal twice size of 2nd, situate nearly entirely 
behind end of base of ventrals. Up to 1000 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform dark brown, sometimes with small white dots, 
whitish below. 

Locality. — Agulhas Bank. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean. 



Narcobatus marmoratus (Risso). 
Marbled Electric Skate. 

1810. Risso, Ichthyol. Nice, p. 20, pi. iii, figs. 4, 5. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 159. 

Spiracles fringed, their diameter about equal to their distance from 
the eyes. First dorsal not twice size of 2nd, about its anterior half 
opposite to base of ventrals. The mandibular dental plate nearly as 
wide as jaw. A low flap of skin without processes behind the teeth 
on both jaws. (Plate V, fig. 4.) • 

Length. — Up to 470 mm. 

Colour. — Brown above, mottled in varying degrees w4th light brown 
or white, white below ; sometimes dark brown with well-defined 
darker round spots. 

Locality. — False Bay to Natal and Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean, Eastern Atlantic, Indian Ocean. 

Several other closely allied species from the Indian Ocean have been 
described : sinus-persici Kaempfer, panthera Olfers, fuscomaculatus 
Peters, polleni Blkr., suessi Stndnr. As these forms appear to be 
based on difierences in the position of the 1st dorsal fin, which is 
exceedingly variable even in specimens from one locality, they should 
probably all be made synonyms of marmoratus. 

^Narcobatus smithi Gnthr. 
Smith's Electric Skate. 

1870. Gunther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 451. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 160. 

Spiracles fringed, narrow, their diameter scarcely one-half their 
distance from eyes, which are very small. End of base of 1st dorsal 
opposite end of base of ventral. The mandibular dental plate occupies 
the whole width of jaw. 

Length. — Up to 375 mm. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 91 

Colour. — Dark brown with darker spots. 

Distribution. — S. Africa (?). 

Only the type specimen appears to be known, and though it came 
from Sir A. Smith's collection, Giinther queries the locality. It is 
possible that it is only an aberration of marmoratus, and the fact that 
specimens of the latter species are found with exactly the same kind 
of pattern as described for smithi to a certain extent supports this 
view. Garman, followed by von Bonde and Swart, identifies this 
species with sinus- jpersici Kaempfer. 



Gen. Narcine Henle. 

1834. Henle, TJber Narcine, p. 31. 

Tail longer than disc. Two dorsal fins. Spiracles immediately 
behind, and contiguous with, eyes. Mouth protrusible, its cleft 
narrow. Teeth with small points. Nasal flap much broader than 
long. 

^■Narcine brasiliensis (Olfers). 

1831. Olfers, Torped., p. 19, pi. ii, fig. 4. 

1905. Jordan, Guide to Study Fish, vol. i, p. 553, text-fig. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. ii, p. 160. 

Outline of disc elliptical. Spiracles surrounded by a ring of small 
tubercles. 

Length. — Up to 525 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, variously blotched with darker. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — Atlantic coasts of tropical America. Enters fresh- 
waters. 

Von Bonde and Swart (1923, loc. cit., p. 14) state that this species 
has not been found during the Marine Surveys, and that there is 
some doubt about its occurrence in South African waters. For 
description of N. natalensis Fowler, see Appendix. 

Gen. Heteronarce Regan. 

1921. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. vii, p. 414. 

Two dorsal fins. Spiracles contiguous with eyes. Nostrils minute. 
Nasal flap only a little broader than long, studded with pores. 

A deep-water genus containing one other species, H. mollis (Lloyd), 
from the Indian Ocean. 



92 Annals of the South African Mtiseimi. 

*Heteronaree garmani Regan. 

1921. Regan, loc. cif., p. 414. 

Distance between spiracles about ? preocular length of snout. 

Length. — Up to 170 mm. 

Colour. — Brown above, white below. 

Locality. — Natal, 120 fathoms. 

Gen. Narke Kaup. 
(=AsTEAPE M. and H.) 

1826. Kaup, Arch. Anat. Phys., p. 365. 

One dorsal fin. Spiracles larger than, and immediately behind, eyes ; 
their margins unfringed (in some specimens appearing almost as if 
fringed on account of their irregular margins). Teeth with short' 
blunt points ; dental plate not extending to sides of jaw, only twice 
as broad as long. 

Narke capensis (G-mel.). 

One-finned Electric Skate. 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 161. 

Vent nearer end of tail than anterior margin of body. A pair of 
small cutaneous papillae behind the dental plate in both jaws. (Plate 
V, fig. 3.) 

Length. — Up to 280 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform brown above, white below. 

Locality. — False Bay to Natal. 

Distribution. — Madagascar. 



Order 2. HOLOCEPHALI (CHISMOPNEA). 

Chitnaeras. 

Skull autostylic. Gill-slits four in number concealed beneath a 
fold of skin which contains a rudimentary cartilaginous gill-cover 
(operculum), with a single external opening. Spiracles absent. 
Skin smooth, the dermal denticles confined to certain areas. Both 
jaws covered with large dental plates, two pairs in upper, one pair in 
lower jaw. 

The Chimaeras are essentially members of the group of Carti- 
laginous Fishes, but they exhibit some curious modifications in the 
direction of the Bony Fishes. The general characters of the skeleton 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 



93 



and the internal organs are those of the Elasmobranchs. On the 
other hand we see traces of the Teleostean organisation in the develop- 
ment of an operculum, the suppression of the spiracle, and the vent 
opening separately -from the urino-genital apertures. There are 
other features as well, but these are the most important. As special 
adaptations of the group may be noted, the autostylic condition of 
the skull, probably correlated with the need of supporting the large 
crushing dental plates, and the frontal and ventral tenacula in the 
male. 

The frontal tenaculum is a club-shaped process, studded with 
recurved hooks, and retractile into a pit on the forehead. The ventral 




Fig. 10. — Egg-cases of A, Chimaera monstrosa (after Dean) ; B, Callo- 
rhynchus capensis (original). 



tenacula are likewise studded with hooks, and each is retractile into 
a pouch in the skin in front of the ventral fins. 

Like other Elasmobranchs the eggs are large. They are enclosed 
in horny egg-cases which are fusiform in shape, surrounded by a more 
or less wide laminar margin. There are no tendrils, and it is probable 
that the egg-cases are laid on the sea-bottom or embedded in the 
ooze. 

The living Chimaeras are survivals from a very remote period. 
Fossil remains of the dorsal spines and dental plates are found in 
Palaeozoic strata and the group became abundant during Mesozoic 
times. 

Two representatives of this order are found in South African waters 
and are referred to two families. 



94 Annals of the Soidh African Museum. 

Key to families. 

1. No rostral projection. Tail long, lower lobe shallow . . Chimaeridae. 

2. A rostral projection. Tail shorter, lower lobe well developed Callorhynchidae. 



Fam. 1. Chimaeridae. 

Snout without rostral process. All the dental plates with tritors 
(molar tubercles) on the anterior edges. The dorsal fins occupying 
nearly the whole length of the back. Anal and ventral lobe of the 
caudal very shallow. Lateral line sulcate, i.e. an open groove. Egg- 
case elongate, spindle-shaped, but truncate in front, margin narrow. 

Gen. Chimaera Linn. 

1758. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 236. 
With the characters of the family. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Lateral line sinuous. Anal distinct from caudal . . . monstrosa. 

2. Lateral line straight. Anal not distinct from caudal . . . africana. 

Chimaera monstrosa Linn. 
Common Chimaera. 

1895. Smitt, Skandin. Fish., p. 1079, pi. xlvi, figs. 2, 3. 

1904. Garman, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harv., vol. xli, No. 2, 
pp. 258, 271, pi. vii, figs. 1-3 (dental plates). 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. ii, p. 165 (references). 

1922. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Surv. Spec. Eep., iii, p. 51. 

Tail ending in a long filament about J total length. First and 
second dorsals subcontinuous, upper margin not notched, except just 
above caudal. Anal distinct from caudal. Pectoral large, reaching 
to posterior margin of ventral. Lateral line sinuous ; malar and 
opercular branches arising together from the suborbital. Claspers 
trifid, divided for about half their length. (Plate V, fig. 5.) 

Length. — Up to 1200 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, back and some spots and blotches on the sides 
brown. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point and Saldanha Bay, 450-500 fathoms. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 95 

Distributio7i. — North and middle Atlantic, Mediterranean, Indian 
Ocean. 

Dean (1906, Publ. Carnegie Inst., No. 32, p. 7) mentions a 
" C. vaillanti " from the Cape. The specimen is in the Paris Museum. 
No description is given, and the name is, therefore, not valid. Dr. 
Pellegrin, who was appealed to on the matter, writes that the lateral 
line is slightly less sinuous than in typical specimens, but that in other 
respects the specimen agrees so well that he sees no reason for separat- 
ing it from monstrosa. 

*Chimaera africana Gilch. 
African Chimaera. 

1922. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 51, pi. viii. 

Tail ending in a long filament about |-| total length. First and 
2nd dorsals subcontinuous, upper margin not notched except just 
above caudal. Anal not distinct from caudal. Pectoral large, 
reaching to middle or beyond base of ventral. Lateral line straight ; 
malar and opercular branches uniting in a common branch which 
arises from the suborbital. Claspers divided for about J their length. 

Length. — ? 

Colour. — Dark brown ; fins purplish black. 

Locality. — Oil Natal coast, 324 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

The egg-cases have been described by Gilchrist {loo. cit., p. 52) from 
specimens found in the same locality as the adults. They are about 
190 mm. in length (excluding the terminal filament which measures 
about 10 mm.) and 20 mm. in width. 

Fam. 2. Callorhynchidae. 

Snout with a rostral projection terminating in a cutaneous flap. 
Palatine and mandibular dental plates each with one or two tritors. 
Dorsal fins not occupying the greater part of the back. Anal and 
ventral lobe of caudal well developed. Lateral line tubular, opening 
through a series of pores. Egg-case spindle-shaped, pointed at both 
ends, with a wide margin. 

Gen. Callorhynchus Gronov. 

1754. Gronovius, Mus. Ichth., vol. i, p. 59. 

With the characters of the family. Pupil verticallv ovate. 



96 Annals of the South African Museum. 

CaUorhynchus capensis Dum. 
Joseph ; Josup ; Dodskop. 

1904. Garman, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harv., vol. xli, No. 2, 
pp. 257, 271, pi. vi, figs. 5, 6 (dental plates). 

1914. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, p. 167 (C antarcticus) . 

Palatine dental plate with 2 narrow longitudinal tritors, mandi- 
bular plate with a slightly broader median tritor which is anteriorly 
acute. (Plate V, fig. 6.) 

Length.— V-p to 960 mm. (?), 740 mm. (^). 

Colour. — Silvery, the back and fins dark brown ; dorsal spine, 
dental plates, and hooks on tenacula greenish ; pupil emerald green, 
iris same colour as body. 

Locality. — West coast from Walfish Bay southwards to Agulhas 
Bank, shallow water to 50 fathoms. 

Garman {loc. cit.) has illustrated the forms of the dental plates in 
the species of this genus, and on this basis has separated the Cape 
species from C. callorhynchus, of which antarcticus is a synonym. 

From an examination of many specimens I can confirm the con- 
stancy of the form of dental plate as illustrated by Garman for 
C. capensis. and, therefore, maintain the specific distinctness of this 
species. 

Garman states further {loc. cit., p. 257) that : " Interest in 
C. capensis is heightened by the fact that traces of its existence have 
been found in Cretaceous formations and in a locality which greatly 
widens its distribution. For the species described by Newton, 1876, 
in the Q.J. Geol. Soc, vol. iii, p. 326, and figured and described by 
the same author, 1878, in Mem. Geol. Surv. United Kingdom, vol. 
iv, p. 41, pi. xii, figs. 11, 12, under the name Callorhynchus hectori 
from a fossil palatine tooth found at Amuri Blufi, New Zealand, in a 
fine conglomerate believed to be of the age of the Lower Greensand, 
Cretaceous, is not to be separated from C. capensis by any of the 
characters at present known. This is the earliest positive evidence 
of the existence of a species of now living Chimaeroid." 

The characteristic egg-cases of this fish are frequently found 
washed up on the beach. They are black in colour, spindle-shaped, 
pointed at both ends, and surrounded by a wide margin which is 
shaggy on one side, smooth on the other. In proportion to the 
size of the fish they are extremely large, measuring up to 350 mm. in 
length. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 97 

Subclass 2. TELEOSTOMI. 

Skeleton bony. The skull is hyostylic (autostylic in the Dipnoi) 
and, in addition to having the primary cartilage ossified, is overlaid 
and strengthened by a secondary development of dermal bones. 
The primary upper (palato-quadrate) and lower jaws also are supple- 
mented with tooth-bearing bones. The gill-slits are covered over 
by an operculum supported by a special opercular skeleton. Spiracle 
present only in the Crossopterygii. The pelvic girdle, if present, 
is rarely more than rudimentary. The body is normally covered with 
scales, which are usually subcircular and imbricated. The tail is as 
a rule homocercal, i.e. the upper and lower lobes are symmetrical ; 
exceptions being the living Chondrostei, and some extinct Crossop- 
terygians. 

No spiral valve in the intestine, except in Crossopterygii and Dipnoi, 
though there are traces in Chirocentrus and some Salmonids. Pyloric 
caeca usually present, except in Dipnoi, but extremely variable in 
number and arrangement. Air-bladder, either single or double, 
present in the great majority of forms. A nictitating membrane in 
the eye is not developed. Nostrils as a rule double and situated 
dorsally. Urino-genital organs opening behind, and separately 
from, the vent. Male claspers are absent, though the genital or 
urino-genital orifice may be produced in a tubular papilla which may 
serve as an intromittent organ or even as an ovipositor. 

In coloration, the prevalence of bright colours and well-marked 
patterns is in strong contrast with the general uniformity that prevails 
amongst the Elasmobranchs. There is a vast diversity in modes of 
Hfe, habits, and life-history which will be referred to under the difierent 
forms. The eggs are, with few exceptions, small and numerous, and 
larval forms are frequent ; viviparity is exceptional. 

This group contains by far the greater number of living fishes. 
The subordinate groups mostly have their origin far back in geological 
history. 

Order 1. DIPNOI. 

Lung-Fishes. 

Among the main characteristics of this group are the autostylic 
condition of the skull, developed apparently in correlation with the 
development of the strong triturating dental plates, the overlapping 
cycloid scales, and the use of the air-bladder as an accessory air- 
breathing respiratory organ or lung. 

VOL. XXI, PAET 1. 7 



98 A7i7ials of the South African Museum. 

These curious and interesting fishes live in fresh water, and at 
the present day are confined to the tropical regions in South America, 
Africa, and Queensland. The only South African representative is 
Protopterus annectens Owen, which is described and figured in " The 
Freshwater Fishes of South Africa." An account of the habits and 
breeding of Protopterus will be found in Budgett, Tr. Zool. Soc, 
vol. xvi, pt. 2, p. 119, 1901. 

Members of this order were widely distributed in former geological 
periods, and in South Africa the dental plates of forms belonging to 
the genus Ceratodus are found in the Upper Beaufort Beds (Karroo 
System). 



Oeders 2, 3, AND 4. CEOSSOPTERYGII, CHONDBOSTEI, and 

HOLOSTEI. 

These orders, formerly grouped together as " Ganoidei," are not 
represented in the present-day South African fauna. 

They received their name from the frequency with which the scales, 
usually rhombic and articulated together instead of overlapping, are 
covered with an enamel-like substance called ganoin. The only 
surviving Crossopterygians are the Polypteridae, fresh-water fishes 
inhabiting the Nile and the rivers of West Central Africa. The 
Chondrostei include the Sturgeons, and the Holostei the Garpikes 
[Lepidosteus) of N. America. 

The following are some of the best known fossil representatives 
of these orders found in South Africa : 

Elonichthys from the Lower Beaufort Beds. 
Helichthys „ Upper Beaufort Beds. 

Semionotus „ Stormberg Beds. 

Cleifhrolepis „ Upper Beaufort Beds. 



Order 5. TELEOSTEI. 

True Bony Fishes. 

The great bulk of living fishes belong to this order. They appear to 
have been derived from Holostean ancestors and became numerically 
predominant over the other groups towards the close of the Secondary 
(Mesozoic) Period. It is almost impossible to draw a hard and fast 
line of distinction between the Holosteans and some of the more 
primitive Teleosteans. Thus the extinct Pholidophoridae, of which a 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 99 

South African representative occurs in the Upper Beaufort Beds, are 
placed among the primitive Isospondylous Teleostei, but possess the 
ganoid scales, fin-fulcra, and incomplete vertebral centra which are 
found characteristically in the Holostei. 

Boulenger, writing in 1904 (Cambridge Natural History, vol. vii), 
stated that " out of some 12,000 well-established species of Fishes 
known to exist at the present day, about 11,500 belong to this order." 
Although the total number of existing species has been considerably 
increased since then, the proportion probably still remains correct. 

The following artificial key to the divisions of the Teleostei is 
founded on that of Regan (1909, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. viii, pt. 3, 
p. 75), but has been considerably simplified by the adoption, as far 
as possible, of external characters. It is only intended to apply to 
the South African fauna. The student will notice that it includes 
all the divisions recognised by Regan except four : the Thoracostei 
from the Northern Hemisphere ; the Palaearctic fresh-water Haplomi 
and Salmopercae ; and the North American deep-water Malacichthyes. 
On the other hand, the Symhranchii are included [in square brackets], 
as their members are distributed over the Indo-Australasian seas, 
and it is quite possible that sooner or later representatives will be found 
in South African waters. There is also a probability that the deep- 
water Lyomeri will be found here, hence they likewise are included. 
The divisions containing fresh-water forms are also included, and a 
brief reference to their characteristics will be made in their proper 
systematic positions. 



100 Annals of the South African Museum. 



1. No spines, or only 1, in dorsal and paired fins. ]Maxilla forming part, usually 
the major part, of the upper jaw, not acting as a lever for protracting 
the premaxilla. Mesocoracoid present (except in some Siluridae and in 
Galaxiidas). 

A. No fin spines ....... Isospondyli. 

B. Sometimes 1 spine in dorsal and paired fins. Fresh water mostly 

OSTAEIOPHYSI. 

II. One or more fin spines normally present. No mesocoracoid. 

A. Body tapering to a point without caudal fin. Scales cycloid. Dorsal 

short or a series of disconnected spines . . . Heteromi. 

B. These characters not combined. 

1. Ventrals, if present, abdominal. Physostomous (except Micro- 

CYPRINl). 

a. Body eel-shaped. Skin naked or with rudimentary scales. 

i. Paired fins absent. Premaxilla forming almost whole 
of upper jaw . . . . [Symbranchii]. 

ii. PremaxiUa absent. 

a. Pectoral arch close behind skuU, pectoral fins 

usually present .... Apodes. 

^. Pectoral arch far behind skull, pectoral fins present 

[Ly'OMERI]. 

b. Bodj' not eel-shaped. 

i. An adipose dorsal fin * . ■ . . . Iniomi. 

ii. No adipose fin. Fresh water . . Microcyprini. 

2. Maxilla not j^rotractile. Physoclystic. 

a. Lower pharyngeals united. Fins without spines, dorsal far 

back . . .... Synentognatht. 

b. Lower pharj'ngeals separate. 

i. Snout tubiform .... Solenichthyes. 



* Except Ipnops, some species of Bathysauru-s, Aieleopidae, and Cetomimidce. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 101 



ii. Snout not tubiform. 

a. Body encased in bony rings. Snout produced 
over mouth . . . Hypostomides. 

jS. Body not encased in bony rings, naked or scaly. 

* Suprabranchial organs present. Fresh water 

Labyrinthici. 
** Suprabranchial organs absent. 

t Dorsal spinous. Ventrals abdominal 

Peecesoces. 
It No bony fin-spines. Ventrals thoracic 
Anacanthini. 

3. Maxilla protractile. Physoclystic. Body usually ri bbon-shaped 

Allotkiognathi. 

4. Head asymmetrical. Body flattened. No fin-spines 

Heterosomata. 

5. Head symmetrical. 

a. Body not eel -shaped. 

i. Ventrals with 6 or more rays, with or without 1 spine, 
a. Body not strongly compressed. Caudal forked 

Berycomorphi. 
/S. Body strongly compressed. Caudal truncate or 
rounded .... Zeomorphi. 
ii. Ventrals with 1 spine and 5 or fewer rays. 
a. Gill-openings not reduced. 

* No adhesive disc . . Percomorphi. 
** An adhesive disc on head . Discocephali. 

*** A ventral adhesive disc . Xenopterl 

^ Gill-openings more or less reduced. 

* Ventrals, if present, thoracic. Teeth incisi- 

form, separate, or united into a beak 

Plectognathi. 
** Ventrals, if present, jugular. Teeth cardiform 
or villiform, always separate 

Pediculati. 

b. Body eel-shaped. ^Fresh water . . . Opisthomi. 



102 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Division 1. ISOSPONDYLI. 

Air-bladder, if present, communicating with digestive canal by a 
duct (physostomous). Fins without spines : ventrals, if present, 
abdominal ; pectorals low down near ventral profile. Anterior 
vertebrae distinct and similar to the others (isospondylous). Opercle 
well developed. Pectoral girdle suspended from the skull ; meso- 
coracoid present (except in Galaxiidae). 

This division contains the most generalised and primitive Teleostean 
fishes, and is closely connected with the Holostean Ganoids by a series 
of fossil forms. The most important primitive characters are : the 
open duct of the air-bladder, the abdominal position of the many- 
rayed ventral fins, the absence of true fin-spines, and the presence of 
the mesocoracoid arch in the pectoral girdle. 

Key to the South African families. 

I. No adipose dorsal fin (Clupeoid series). 

A. Scales cycloid, absent from head. 

1. Dorsal not far back. 

a. Ventral with more than 10 rays. 

i. Lateral line present. Branchiostegals more than 20 

Elopidae. 
ii. Branchiostegals 6-14 . . . . . Albulidae. 

iii. Branchiostegals 4 . ... . . Chanidae. 

b. Ventral with 10 or fewer rays. 

i. Lateral line present. Fresh water. 

a. Eyes subcutaneous . . . Mormyridae. 

ji. Eyes freely exjjosed ... Kneriidae. 

ii. Lateral line absent. 

a. Mouth terminal .... Clupeidae. 

/?. Mouth inferior, snout projecting . Engraulidae. 

2. Dorsal far back, opposite anal. 

a. Ventral filamentous, far forward. Fresh water Pantodoniidae. 

b. Ventral not filamentous, not far forward. 

i. Surface forms. Skeleton firm . . Chirocentridae. 

ii. Deep-sea forms. Skeletons feebly ossified. 

A lepocephalidae. 

B. Scales ctenoid, covering head as well as body . Gonorhynchidae. 
II. Adipose fin as a rule present (Salmonoid series). 

A. Adipose dorsal, and lateral line present, but no photophores. 

1. Branchiostegals 6 or more (-20). 

a. Branchiostegals 10-20 .... Salmonidae. 

b. Brancliiostegals 6-10 ..... Argentinidae. 

2. Branchiostegals 3-4 ...... Microskimidae. 

B. Adipose dorsal, and lateral line absent. Fresh water . Galaxiidae. 

C. Photophores present. Adipose dorsal, and lateral line present or absent. 

Marine : deep water . ..... Stomiatidae. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 103 

Fam. 1. Elopidae. 

Maxilla more developed than premaxilla, extending backwards to 
or beyond posterior margin of eye. A bony sublingual (gular) plate 
between the rami of the lower jaw. Teeth on jaws, palatines, ptery- 
goids, vomers, pharyngeals, and tongue, all numerous and minute. 
Pectorals low down. No adipose fin. Ventrals with 10-16 rays. 
Branchiostegals over 20. Gill-rakers rather long and slender. Air- 
bladder large. Lateral line present. Scales cycloid. Belly not 
keeled. Caudal forked. 

A small family, widely distributed in tropical and subtropical seas, 
frequently entering the estuaries of rivers. Though not of much 
value as edible fishes, owing to the quantity of bones in the flesh, 
they are splendid game-fishes for anglers. 

The life-history is remarkable in that the young pass through a 
" Leptocephalus " stage, similar to the Leptocephalus of the Eels. 
The larva is ribbon-shaped and quite transparent, but is easily dis- 
tinguished from the Eel larva by its forked tail. In the course of its 
metamorphosis into the adult form it becomes shorter and thicker 
and gradually develops pigmentation. (Fig. 11.) 

Key to the genera. 

1. Scales small. Dorsal longer than anal ...... Elops. 

2. Scales large. Dorsal shorter than anal, its last ray elongate . . Megalops. 

Gen. Elops Linn. 

1766. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 12, p. 518. 

1909. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. iii, p. 37 (revision). 

Body elongate. Scales small. Lateral line with simple tubes. 
Dorsal longer than anal, both with basal sheath of scales. Pseudo- 
branchiae well developed. 

Elops saurus Linn. 
Cape Salmon (Port Elizabeth, East London) ; Springer (Natal). 

1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 50, fig. (references). 

1916. Thompson, ibid., vol. iii, p. 69 (machnata) (references). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 291 {machnata) (references). 

Depth of body 4f-6, head 3|-4|- in length. Eye 4-5 times in 
head, subequal to snout and interorbital width, partly covered by 



104 Annals of the South African Museum. 

adipose eyelids. Lower jaw included within upper when mouth is 

closed. D 22-25, A 13-17. Scales rather small, cycloid : 1.1. 100-120 ; 

11-13 

l.tr. Branchiosteeals about 30. (Plate VI, fig. 1.) 

15-18 ^ ^ ' ^ I 

Length. — Up to 925 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery. 

Locality. — Port Elizabeth to Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — All warm parts of the Atlantic. 

Regan recognises seven species in this genus. He separates the 
South African (and Indo-Chinese) form under the name machnata 
Forsk. {=capensis Smith) from the Atlantic form saurus. In the 
latter the lower jaw is included within the upper when the mouth is 
closed, the whole premaxillary band of teeth being exposed. In 
machnata, however, the lower jaw projects and covers the anterior 
part of the band of teeth. Other differences in the scaling, etc., are 
given. 

All the specimens I have examined, ranging from 200 mm. up to 
600 mm., agree with Regan's diagnosis of saurus, especially in the 
character of the mouth and scaling. I am therefore unable to accept 
the name machnata for the South African species. 



Gen. Megalops Lacep. 

1803. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, p. 289. 

Body elongate, compressed. Scales large. Lateral line with 
branched tubes. Dorsal shorter than anal, its last ray greatly elongate, 
no basal sheath, but small scales extending on to anal. No pseudo- 
branchiae. 

Megalops cyprinoides (Brouss.). 

Tarpon. 

1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 52, fig. (references). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i,pt. 4, 
p. 292 (references). 

Depth of body 3^4, in length, head equal to or a little less than 

depth. Eye 3-3^ in head, slightly larger than snout or interorbital 

width, partly covered with adipose eyelids. Lower jaw projecting 

well beyond upper. D 17-20, A 24-30. Scales large, cycloid : 

5-7 
1.1. 36-42 ; l.tr. Branchiostegals about 27. 

7-8 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 105 

Length. — Up to 500 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, bluish on back ; dorsal, caudal, and upper part 
of pectorals dark bluish black. 
Locality. — Natal coast. 
Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 
M. atlanticus is the large tarpon of the east coast of the United 








Fig. 11. — Megalops cyjjrinoides (Btouss.). Larval form, x4. 
(After van Kampen.) 

States and the West Indies, reaching a length of 6 ft. and a weight of 
110 lb. 

It is probable that spawning takes place in deep water, the young 
fry migrating shorewards to the shallow water where they undergo 
their metamorphosis. 

Fam. 2. Albulidae. 

Margin of upper jaw formed by maxilla, which does not extend as 
far back as eye. Small villiform teeth on premaxilla, maxilla, vomers, 
palatines, and lower jaw ; larger flat-topped teeth on pterygoids, 
parasphenoid, tongue, and pharyngeals. No sublingual plate between 
rami of lower jaw. Pectorals low down. No adipose fin. Ventrals 
with 10-14 rays. Branchiostegals 12-14. Grill-rakers short, knob- 
Hke. Air-bladder large. Pseudobranchiae present. Lateral line 
present. Scales cycloid. Belly not keeled. Caudal forked. 

This family has only one living representative, unless the deep-sea 
Japanese form Pterothrissus be also included. 

As in the Elopidae, the young pass through a " Leptocephalus " 
stage. 

Gen. Albula Gronov. (Bl. and Schn.). 

1763. Gronovius, Zoophyl., p. 102. 
1801. Bloch and Schneider, Syst. Ichth., p. 432. 
Body elongate. Dorsal fin short, in centre of back. Lateral line 
with simple tubes. 



106 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Albula vulpes Linn. 
Tarpon. Lady-fish (America). 

1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 53, fig. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pL 4, 
p. 293 (references). 

Depth of body 4-4;^, head 3^ in length. Eye 6 in length of head, 

2| in snout, 1|^ in interorbital width, almost completely covered with 

adipose eyelids. Snout prominent, lips rather thick. D 17, A 8. 

8-9 

Scales in very regular longitudinal rows : 1.1. 70-75 ; l.tr. 

11-13 

Length. — Up to 400 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark above ; margins of dorsal and caudal dark. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Widely distributed in all warm seas. 

Fam. 3. Chanidae. 

Upper margin of upper jaw formed by maxilla, to whose anterior 
end the premaxilla is firmly attached. Mouth small, toothless. 
Pectorals low down. No adipose fin. Ventrals with 10-11 rays. 
Branchiostegals 4. Gill-rakers numerous, moderately long. Air- 
bladder large. Pseudobranchiae present. Lateral line present, 
with simple tubes. Scales cycloid. Belly not keeled. An accessory 
branchial organ. Caudal forked. Gill-membranes united below. 

Represented by a single living species. 

Gen. Chanos Lacep. 

1803. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, p. 395. 
With the characters of the family. 

Chanos chanos (Forsk.). 
Milk-fish (America). 

1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 54, fig. {C. sahnoneus). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 298 (references). 

Body elongate, compressed. Depth of body 3|-3| ; head 4 in 
length. Eye 3| in head, rather larger than snout, 1 j-1 J in interorbital 
width, completely covered by skin. Mouth terminal. D 14-16, 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 107 

A 8-10, botli with scaly sheath at base. Scales strongly grooved 

longitudinally : 1.1. 85-90 ; l.tr. ^J-l?. (Plate VI, fig. 2.) 

Length. — Up to 300 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark above ; dorsal, caudal, and tip of anal dark. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 



Fam. 4. Clupeidae. 
Herrings, Shads, Sardines, Pilchards, Whitebait. 

1916. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. xviii, p. 1. 

Mouth moderately large, terminal or lower jaw slightly projecting. 
Margin of upper jaw formed by maxilla which is composed of 3 
pieces. Teeth minute, often rudimentary or absent on some or all 
of the usual tooth-bearing bones. Pectorals low down. No adipose 
fin. Ventrals with 6-11 rays. Branchiostegals 5-20. Gill-rakers 
usually very numerous. Air-bladder large. Lateral line absent. 
Scales cycloid, more or less deciduous. Pseudobranchiae usually 
present. Belly usually keeled, with scutes. Caudal forked. 

Widely distributed over the whole globe and of great economic 
importance in nearly every region. The economic value lies in the 
fact that the members of this family are gregarious and occur in vast 
shoals. Moreover, they inhabit the shallower water at no great dis- 
tance from land, frequently entering the estuaries of rivers. 

Their habits, breeding, and migrations have been studied in great 
detail in the Northern Hemisphere (see Meek, Migrations of Fish, 
chaps. V, vi, 1916). 

It is a remarkable fact that while all the better known species have 
pelagic floating eggs, the herring forms an exception in having 
demersal eggs which are attached to various objects at the bottom of 
the sea. There are, however, many species, especially in the warmer 
seas, whose life-histories are yet unknown. 

In South Africa this family is but poorly represented. There is no 
member of the genus Clupea to which the true herring (C harengus) 
belongs. As regards size, the Natal herring is the largest species in 
these waters, but is too bony to become popular. Nevertheless, there 
is no reason why a lucrative business should not be established in 
tinning the Cape sardine and placing a continuous supply of whitebait 
on the market. 



108 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Belly without scutes. 

A. Ventrals entirely behind dorsal. Eye subcutaneous . . Etrumeus. 

B. Ventrals almost or entirely in front of dorsal. Eye fully exposed 

Spratelloides. 
II. Belly with scutes. 

A. Adipose eyelids. 

1. Body strongly compressed. 

a. Ventrals very small. Anal very long . . . Pellona. 

b. Ventrals not very small. Anal moderately long . Hilsa. 

2. Body not much compressed ..... Sardina. 

B. Eyelids not adipose. 

1. No teeth on jaws ...... Sardinella. 

2. Teeth on jaws ...... Haremjula. 



Gen. Etrumeus Blkr. 

1853. Bleeker, Vert. Batar. Gen., vol. xxv, p. 58. 

Body scarcely compressed, belly rounded, without scutes. Scales 
very deciduous. Ventrals entirely behind dorsal. Anal very short, 
not nearly reaching base of caudal, last ray slightly enlarged. Pseudo- 
branchiae present. Teeth sparse on maxilla and lower jaw, patches of 
villiform teeth on vomer, palatine, pterygoid, and tongue. Supple- 
mentary bones of maxilla very narrow. Gill-rakers long on anterior 
arch. Branchiostegals rather numerous (15). Eye entirely covered 
with skin. 

Etrumeus micropus (Schleg.). 
Round Herring. 

1846. Schlegel, Fauna Japon. Poiss., p. 236, pi. cvii, fig. 2. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 295 (references). 

Depth of body 5f-6, head 4 in length. Eye subequal to snout 
and to postocular part of head, nearly twice interorbital width. 
Mouth terminal or the lower jaw slightly projecting, maxilla reaching 
to vertical from anterior margin of eye. D 18-19, A 9-11, both 
with basal sheaths. Branchiostegals about 15. Scales : 1.1. 52-56 ; 
l.tr. 13-14. A long oval scale on ventral side of each ventral fin. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark on back. 

Locality. — Port Elizabeth and Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Japan, China, Hawaii Islands. 

The Australian jacksoniensis Macleay, 1878, seems scarcely dis- 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 109 

tinct ; the specimen described by McCulloch from West Australia 
in 1914 (Rec. W. Austr. Mus., vol. i, pt. 3, p. 211, pi. xxix) has D 21, 
A 11 (1), while Macleay gave the fin formula of his specimens as D 16, 
A 13. 

Gen. Spratelloides Blkr. 

1852. Bleeker, Verh. Batav. Gen., vol. xxiv, p. 29. 

Body more or less compressed, belly rounded or not sharply keeled, 
without scutes. Scales deciduous. Ventrals almost or entirely in 
front of dorsal. Anal moderately short or long. A silvery lateral 
stripe. Teeth minute or absent. Branchiostegals 6. Pseudo- 
branchiae present. Gill-rakers about 30, long, moderately slender. 
Supplementary bones of maxilla broad. Adipose eyelids obsolete. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Anal rather long, 18-21. Dorsal nearer caudal than snout . aestuarius. 

2. Anal short, 9. Dorsal nearer snout than caudal . . . delicatulus. 

Spratelloides aestuarius Gilch. 
Whitebait. 

1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 55, fig. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, p. 296. 

Body elongate, rather strongly compressed, belly bluntly keeled. 
Depth of body equal to length of head, 4-41^ in length. Eye subequal 
to snout, 3-31- in length of head, 1^ times interorbital width. Adipose 
eyelids absent. Lower jaw slightly projecting beyond upper, maxilla 
reaching to or a little beyond vertical from anterior margin of eye. 
Maxilla, premaxilla, and lower jaw with feeble teeth, which are often 
absent. D 14-16, much nearer root of caudal than tip of snout ; 
A 18-21 beginning under end of dorsal ; V wholly in front of dorsal. 
Scales : 1.1. about 40 ; l.tr. about 10. A hard sharp keel on thoracic 
region in front of pectorals. 

Length. — Up to 70 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, a brilliant silver lateral stripe, back dark. 

Locality. — Princess Vlei (False Bay), Port Elizabeth, East London, 
Natal. Estuarine and fresh water. 

Types in South African Museum. 

This species has a considerably longer anal fin than is usual in this 
genus, resembling in this respect Dussumieria, but in the characters of 
the fully exposed eye and the few branchiostegals it agrees with 
Spratelloides. 



no Annals of the South African Museum. 

^Spratelloides delicatulus (Benn.). 

1872. Bleeker, Atlas Ichthyol., vol. vi, p. 96, pi. cclxiv, fig. 3. 

1917. Gilclirist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 296 (references). 

Depth of body 6-7, length of head 4-4J in length. Eyes smaller 
than snout, about 4 in length of head. Lower jaw slightly projecting, 
maxilla extending to vertical from anterior margin of eye. D 11-12, 
nearer end of snout than caudal ; A 9-10 ; V inserted below posterior 
third of dorsal. Scales : 1.1. about 35 ; l.tr. 7-8. 

Length. — Up to 90 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, with lateral silver stripe, back dark. 

Locality. — Zululand coast (Kosi Bay). 

Distribution. — East Indies and Australia. 

Gen. Pelloxa Val. 

1847. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xx, p. 300. 

Body strongly compressed, belly keeled, with scutes. Scales 
deciduous. No enlarged scales on tail. Ventrals very small, below 
origin of dorsal. Upper pectoral ray strong. Anal very long. Teeth 
on palatine, pterygoid, and tongue, none on vomer. Supplementary 
bones of maxilla broad. Gill-rakers long, not very numerous. 
Pseudobranchiae present. Branchiostegals 6. 

This genus is distributed over the tropics and subtropical parts of 
the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Oceans. It is easily distinguished by 
the very small ventrals and the very long anal fin. 

The name Ilisha Gray appears to have been proposed without 
description, and is therefore not acceptable. 

Pellona natalensis G. and T. 
Straight-back Herring. 

1908. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. S.A. Mus., vol. vi, p. 202. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 298. 

Upper profile almost straight. Depth of body 2f-3, head 3| iu 
length. Eye greater than snout, nearly twice interorbital width, 
2f in head, partly covered with narrow adipose eyelids. Mouth 
superior, lower jaw projecting, maxilla very oblique, scarcely (in 
adult) reaching vertical from anterior margin of eye. A toothed 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. Ill 

bone connecting premaxilla with maxilla, the latter with minute teeth. 
Posterior halves of occipital ridges converging. D 17, A 37. Scales : 
1.1. (about) 41 ; l.tr. (about) 13. Scutes 16-19 in front of, 8 behind, 
ventrals. (Plate VII, fig. 1.) 

Length. — Up to 150 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, with a dark dorsal stripe. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 24 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. I have examined two young 
specimens which agree with the type, though the body is proportion- 
ately a little deeper. Contrary to the statement of the original 
authors, I am unable to find any teeth on the vomers, a fact which is, 
moreover, more in accordance with the definition of the genus. This 
species is very closely allied to hoevenii Blkr., and ditchela C. and V. 



Gen. HiLSA Regan. 

1916. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 3, p. 167 {Paralosa non 
Bleek.). 

1917. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. xix, p. 303 (revision). 
Body compressed, belly keeled, with scutes. Scales not deciduous. 

Premaxillae meeting at an acute angle. Ventrals below dorsal. 
Anal long. Pseudobranchiae present. Teeth none. Gill-rakers very 
numerous, long, and slender. Supplementary bones of maxilla rather 
broad. Branchiostegals 5. No enlarged scales at base of caudal. 

A genus of several species distributed over the Indo-Chinese region, 
differing mainly from the N. Atlantic and the Mediterranean genus 
Alosa (The Shad) in the larger scales and absence of the enlarged 
scales on the caudal. 

Hilsa dicrhanensis (Regan). 
Natal Herring. 

1906. Regan, Ann. Natal Mus., vol. i, pt. 1, p. 4, pi. iv. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 297 (references). 

1917. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. xix, p. 305. 

Depth of body 24-24, head 3|-3f, in length. Eye subequal to 
snout, rather smaller than interorbital width, 4-4| in head, not 
completely covered by the adipose eyelids. Parietal ridges expanded 
and striated, not covered with smooth skin. Lower jaw closing 
within upper. Operculum smooth. D 16-18, A 19-22, both with 



112 Annals of the South African Museum. 

basal sheaths. Branchiostegals 5. Scales finely longitudinally 
striated, edges more or less ciliated : 1.1. 42-45 ; l.tr. 14. Scutes 
14-15 (or 17 according to Regan) in front of, 12-13 behind, ventrals. 
150-200 (less in juv.) gill-rakers on lower part of anterior arch. 

Length. — Up to 265 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, with a dark spot on shoulder and dark edge to 
dorsal, sometimes also tips of caudal dark. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Is occasionally seen as smoked fish, but is not popular owing to its 
being too bony. 

There is a remarkable resemblance in superficial appearance between 
this species and the Sydney herring {Harengula castelnaui Ogilby), 
even to the black tip to the dorsal, and the black tips to the caudal, 
which are sometimes found in young specimens of the Natal herring. 

Gen. Sardina Antipa. 

1906. Antipa, Denkschr. Ak. Wieu, vol. Ixxiii, p. 54. 

1916. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. xviii, p. 11. 

Body not strongly compressed, belly only slightly keeled with 
scutes. Scales very deciduous, with interrupted transverse striae. 
Ventrals opposite dorsal. Anal long, last 2 rays enlarged. Grill- 
rakers very numerous, long, and slender. Teeth absent. 

Branchiostegals 6. Supplementary bones of maxilla broad. A 
pair of enlarged scales on each side of base of caudal. Operculum 
with radiating grooves. Pseudobranchiae present. 

A small genus found in both the north and south temperate zones, 
its place in warmer waters being taken by the next genus Sardinella. 
It includes the pilchard of Europe. 

Sardina sagax (Jenyns). 
Sardine, Sardijn. 

1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 57, fig. {Clupea sagax). 

1916. Id., ibid., vol. iii, p. 20, fig. (egg and larva). 

1916. Thompson, ibid., vol. iii, p. 71 (reference). 

Body elongate. Depth of body 5-5|, length of head 3f-34 in 
length. Eye subequal to interorbital width, li-1^ in snout, 4^4| 
in length, partly covered with adipose eyelids. Lower jaw scarcely 
projecting, maxilla reaching to vertical from anterior third of eye. 
D 17-19, A 18-20, both with low basal sheath. Scales all exposed, 



PLATE VI. 



1. Elojis saurus Linn, (after Day) .... 

2. Chanos chanos (Forsk.) (after Day) 

3. Chirocentrus dorab Forsk. (after Day) 

4. Goiwrhynchus gonorhynchus (Gmel.) (after Richardson) 

5. TJiryssa vitriroslris (G. and T.) (original) 



TEXT-PAGE 

103 
. 106 
. 120 
. 125 

. lis 



Ann. S. Afr. Mus., Vol. XXI. 



Plate VI. 







>r^^- 





m 




s^' 



i\'e!K i: Co., Ltd. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 113 

with a few transverse striae : 1.1. about 54 ; l.tr. about 12. Scutes 
18-20 in front of, 12-14 behind, ventrals. Gill-rakers 105-110 on 
lower part of anterior arch. 

Length. — Up to 210 mm. (or 290 mm. Chile). 

Colour. — Silvery, dark above, with 20 or fewer black spots along 
side of body, sometimes absent altogether. 

Locality. — Table Bay, False Bay to Natal. 

Distribution. — Japan, Pacific coast of North and South America. 

The Sardine is one of the most valuable economic fishes in Europe, 
Japan, and California. Although the South African species is 
abundant and of excellent flavour, no use has yet been made of it. 
The egg is large, 1-7 mm. in diameter, with large perivitelline space, 
a postero-ventral oil-globule 0-2 in diameter, and vesiculate yolk. 
The larva is very elongate, 4-1 mm., with only a few black spots over 
the body, and the vent in the posterior third of the body. 

The occurrence of this species in Natal is probably exceptional. 
In the warm waters of Natal and the east coast its place is taken by 
Sardinella gibbosa and the species of Harengula. 

Gen. Sardinella Val. 

1847. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xx, p. 263. 

1917. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. xix, p. 377 (revision). 

Adipose eyelids small. Body compressed, belly keeled, with 
scutes. Scales large, usually firm, with interrupted transverse 
striae. No enlarged scales on tail. Ventrals opposite dorsal. Anal 
long, last 2 rays enlarged. Gill-rakers numerous, long. Teeth 
feeble on palatine and tongue. Branchiostegals 6. Supplementary 
bones of maxilla broad. 

Pseudobranchiae present. Operculum with only a single groove, 
near anterior edge. 

A genus of numerous tropical and subtropical species, distinguished 
chiefly by the absence of the radiating grooves on the operculum 
and the form of the branchial chamber from the genus Sardina of 
temperate waters. 

^Sardinella gibbosa Blkr. 
The Lesser Sardine. 

1849. Bleeker, Journ. Indo-Archip., vol. iii, p. 72. 
1872. Id., ibid., Atlas Ichthyol., vol. vi, p. 106, Clup. pi. viii, fig. 6 
(Clupea tembang). 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 8 



114 Annals of the South African Museum. 

1916. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 3, p. 167 {S. sindensis 
non Day). 

1917. Id., ibid., vol. i, pt. 5, p. 458. 

1917. Id., Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. xix, p. 383. 

Depth of body 3i-4, head 4-4| in length. Eye subequal to snout, 
3|-4 in length of head. Maxilla extending to below anterior J- J 
of eye. D 17-20, A 17-19. Ventral 8-rayed. Scales : 1.1. 44-48 ; 
l.tr. 11-13. Scutes sharply keeled, 18-20 in front of, 13-15 behind, 
ventral. Fifty to fifty- five gill-rakers on lower part of anterior arch. 

Length. — Up to 160 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark bluish above, a dark spot at base of anterior 
dorsal rays, upper part of dorsal and edge of caudal often dusky. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa to India and East Indies. 



Gen. Harengula Val. 

1847. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xx, p. 277. 

1917. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. xix, p. 386 (revision). 

Body compressed, belly keeled, with scutes. Scales firm, with 
continuous transverse striae. Ventrals opposite dorsal. Anal long, 
last 2 rays not enlarged. Teeth on jaws, palatine, pterygoid, and 
tongue. Supplementary bones of maxilla broad. Branchiostegals 
6. Adipose eyelids small. Pseudobranchiae present. Gill-rakers 
numerous, long. No enlarged scales at base of caudal. Lower jaw 
rather prominent. 

A genus of tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific and W. Atlantic 
fishes, closely allied to Sardinella, but distinguished by the con- 
tinuous striae on the scales, and the last 2 anal rays not being enlarged. 

Key to the South African species. 

Gill-rakers less than 40 on lower part of anterior arch . . . punctata. 

Gill-rakers more than 40 on lower part of anterior arch . . . vittata. 

Harengula punctata Riipp. 
Punctate Lesser Herring. 

1835. Riippell, N.W. Fische, p. 78, pi. xxi, figs. 2, 3 {Clupea punc- 
tata and quadrimaculata). 

1872, Bleeker, Atlas Ichthyol., vol. vi, p. 107, pi. cclxiii, figs. 1, 2 
{Clupea moluccensis and kunzei). 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 115 

1917. Regan, loc. cit., p. 390 (synonymy). 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., p. 320 (name only). 

Depth of body 3J-4, length of head 3|^-4 in length. Eye subequal 
to snout, 3-3J in head. Maxilla extending to below anterior J of eye. 
D 17-19, A 17-19. Ventral below middle of dorsal. Scales : 1.1. 
42-45 ; l.tr. 11-12. Scutes 16-20 in front of, 11-14 behind, ventral. 
Thirty to thirty-four gill-rakers on lower part of anterior arch. 

Length. — Up to 130 mm. 

Colour. — Back steely blue with a series of 10-12 round black spots, 
a yellowish lateral stripe, sides and belly silvery, anterior part of 
dorsal blackish. 

Locality. — Natal coast ; Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 

Harengula vittata C. and V. 
Banded Lesser Herring. 

1847. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xx, p. 352. 

1872. Bleeker, Atlas Ichthyol., vol. vi, p. Ill, pi. cclxix, fig. 5 
{Clupea melanura). 

1917. Regan, loc. cit., p. 392 (synonymy). 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320 (name only). 

Depth of body 3|-3|, length of head 3|-4 in length. Eye subequal 
to snout, 3§-3| in head. Maxilla extending to below anterior ^ of 
eye. Fifty to sixty gill-rakers on lower part of anterior arch. D 16-17, 
A 18-19. Ventral below anterior half of dorsal. Scales : 1.1. 40-42 ; 
l.tr. 12. Scutes 17 in front of, 13 behind, ventral. 

Length. — Up to 125 mm. 

Colour. — Steely blue above, sides and belly silvery, base of caudal 
brownish, tips of caudal lobes black. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 

Earn. 5. Engraulidae. 
Anchovies. 
Mouth very large, inferior, being overlapped by snout. Margin 
of upper jaw formed by maxilla, which is composed of 3 pieces and is 
very long ; premaxilla very small. Teeth small, rudimentary or 
absent. Pectorals low down. No adipose fin. Ventrals with 6-12 
rays. Branchiostegals 5-14. Gill-rakers fairly numerous. Air- 
bladder large. Pseudobranchiae present. Belly rounded or keeled. 



116 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Scales cycloid. Caudal forked (except in Coilia, where body ends in 
a tapering tail). Lateral line absent. Eyes completely covered over 
by skin. 

The Anchovies are extremely closely allied to the Herrings, but 
although there is scarcely any important structural difference be- 
tween the two families, the Engraulidae can be at once recognised by 
the projecting snout and the very short free portion of the tongue. 

The family is widely distributed in all seas, frequently entering the 
estuaries of rivers. Like the members of the Herring families, most 
of the species are usually found in enormous shoals. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Belly rounded .......... Engraulis. 

2. Belly sharply keeled. 

a. Pseudobranchiae obsolete. A silvery lateral stripe . . Stolephorus. 

b. Pseudobranchiae present. No silvery lateral stripe . . Thryssa. 

Gen. Engraulis Cuvier. 

1817. Cuvier, Regne Anim., ed. 1, p. 174. 

Body little compressed, belly rounded, without serratures. Gill- 
membranes very short. Branchiostegals 12-14. Maxilla not ex- 
tending as far as edge of gill-cover. Anal long, commencing a little 
way behind end of dorsal, both dorsal and anal with low basal sheath. 
Teeth usually on jaws, vomer, palatine, and pterygoid. Pectoral 
rays not prolonged into a filament. Pseudobranchiae present. No 
silvery lateral stripe. Vertebrae 44-47. Flesh dark. 

Engraulis capensis Gilch. 
Cape Anchovy. 

1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 62, fig. 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320 (occurrence). 

Body elongate, not strongly compressed, belly scarcely keeled. 
Depth of body 6-6^, length of head 3^3f, in length. Eye slightly 
larger than snout, 4^4J in head. Teeth on both jaws, palatine, 
pterygoid, and vomer. Maxilla not tapering behind, rounded, extend- 
ing not quite to end of mandible. Gill-rakers about 35 on lower part 
of anterior arch. D 14-15, A 18-20, commencing a little way behind 
vertical from end of dorsal. Scales : 1.1. 42-44 ; l.tr. 6. No spini- 
f orm scales along belly. Pseudobranchiae well developed. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 117 

Length. — Up to 120 mm. 

Colour. — Dark above, silvery on sides and belly. 

Locality. — Saldanha Bay, Table Bay, False Bay, Natal. 

Type in coll. Gilchrist. 

The 8th caudal ray, both from the upper and the lower outer sides 
of the tail, has a large skinny flap, extending towards its fellow 
and covering over the middle caudal rays, similar in appearance to 
the enlarged alar scales on the tail of the Sardine {Sardina sagax). 

Very closely allied to E. australis (Shaw), the Australian anchovy, 
which, however, has a slightly smaller eye, and fewer scales and 
anal rays. 

Gen. Stolephorus Lacep. 

1803. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, p. 381. 

Body compressed, belly keeled, with a series of bony scales, each 
bearing a sharp spine. Maxilla not extending beyond edge of gill- 
cover. Gill-membranes very short. Anal long, commencing opposite 
dorsal. Both dorsal and anal with low basal sheath. Pectoral rays 
not prolonged. Teeth usually present on jaws, vomers, palatine, and 
pterygoid. Pseudobranchiae present. Vertebrae 40-42. Flesh light. 
A silvery lateral stripe. 

Stolephorus holodon (Blgr.). 
East Coast Anchovy. Whitebait. 

1900. Boulenger, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. i, p. 12, pi. iii, fig. 1. 

1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 61, fig. 

Body elongate, moderately compressed, belly keeled. Depth of 
body 6-bh, length of head 4, in length. Eye larger than snout, 3 
in length of head. Teeth in both jaws and on palatine and vomer. 
Maxilla tapering to a blunt point behind, extending to edge of gill- 
cover. Gill-rakers 25 in lower part of arch. D 14-15 ; A 19-20, 
commencing below middle of dorsal. Scales : 1.1. 40-42 ; l.tr. 9. 
Scutes 8-9 from pectoral to ventral, 6-7 behind ventrals. Pseudo- 
branchiae well developed. 

Length. — Up to 70 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, with a brilliant silver lateral stripe. 

Locality. — Algoa Bay to Natal, estuarine. 

Type in British Museum, cotype in South African Museum. 

I am unable to confirm two points in Boulenger's original descrip- 
tion, which has been copied verbatim by Gilchrist in 1913. There are 



118 Annals of the South African Museum. 

said to be only 12 gill-rakers on the lower part of the anterior arch : 
in the cotype and all other specimens I find about 25. Further, 
both the cotype and the other specimens have spiny scales along the 
whole of the belly, as shown in Boulenger's figure, though he only 
mentions those between the pectorals and ventrals in his description. 
Very abundant in the Zwartkops River near Port Elizabeth, 
where it is known as " Whitebait." 

Gen. Thryssa Cuv. 

1815. Rafinesque, Analyse Nat. (Thrissa). 

1817. Cuvier, Regne Anim. (Thryssa). 

Body strongly compressed, belly keeled, with long scutes. Gill- 
membranes very short. Maxilla extending to or beyond edge of 
gill-cover. Branchiostegals 10-14. Anal long, but not exceeding 50 
rays. A minute spine in front of dorsal. Pectoral with none of the 
rays prolonged. Teeth usually on jaws, vomer, palatine, pterygoid. 
Pseudobranchiae obsolete. Both dorsal and anal with basal sheath. 
No silvery lateral stripe. Flesh pale. 

I feel justified in resuscitating Cuvier's genus, as it is impossible 
to include such forms as setirostris, with trenchant scutigerous belly, 
and the typical species of Engraulis in one and the same genus. Even 
from Stolephorus it is abundantly distinct by the absence of pseudo- 
branchiae as well as the elongate maxilla. A skinny flap arising from 
the scapular region and marked with dark venules is typically present. 

The genus is distributed over the Indo-Pacific region. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Maxilla reaching base of pectoral ...... vitrirostris. 

2. Maxilla reaching to or beyond ventral ..... setirostris. 

Thryssa vitrirostris (G. and T.). 
Glass-nose. 

1908. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. vi, pt. 2, 
p. 201. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 296. 

Depth of body 3i-3f , length of head 4-4|, in length. Eye larger 
than snout, subequal to interorbital width (3f young), 4-4|^ in length 
of head. Maxilla elongate, extending to base of pectoral, dilated 
above angle of mouth, thence tapering to a fine point. Teeth on jaws, 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 119 

vomer, palatine, and pterygoid. Gill-rakers 21-24 on lower part of 
anterior arch. D 1 + 12-14, A 40-42, commencing below last dorsal 
ray. Scales with transverse striae : 1.1. 36-40 ; l.tr. 10. Scutes 17-18 
in front of, 9 behind, ventrals. (Plate VI, fig. 5.) 

Length. — Up to 200 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, back darker, dark venules on shoulder. Edge of 
caudal dark. 

Locality. — East London, Natal, Delagoa Bay, Chinde. 

Type in South African Museum. 

There is considerable variation in the hind extremity of the maxilla, 
due in many instances, no doubt, to injury. In the typical Natal 
form the maxilla tapers to a fine point and its width (including the 
membrane) behind the dilatation is not as great as that of the anterior 
portion. But other specimens from Portuguese East Africa, not 
otherwise differing from the typical form, have the hind part at least 
as broad as the front part, tapering very slightly and terminating in 
a blunt point. In one of these specimens the maxilla on one side 
does not extend beyond the edge of the gill-cover, while that on the 
other side stops short immediately behind the dilatation. The 
identification, therefore, of single specimens in this genus should be 
undertaken with caution. 

Thryssa setirostris (Brouss). 
Whiskered Herring. 

1866-72. Bleeker, Atlas Ichthyol., vol. vi, p. 134, pi. cclxi, fig. 1. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 296 (references). 

Depth of body 3f , length of head 4J-4f , in length. Eye a little 
larger than interorbital width, considerably larger than snout, 3f-4 
in length of head. Maxilla very elongate, dilated above angle of 
mouth, extending to or beyond ventral, sometimes almost to vent, 
tapering evenly, with a broad membrane. Teeth on jaws, vomer, 
palatine, and pterygoid. Gill-rakers 10-12 on lower part of anterior 
arch. D 1 + 13-15, A 34-38, commencing below last dorsal ray. 
Scales with transverse striae : 1.1. 40-44 ; l.tr. 10-11. Scutes 14-15 
in front of, 8-9 behind, ventrals. 

Length. — Up to 165 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, back dark, dark venules on shoulder. 

Locality. — Natal, Portuguese East Africa. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 



120 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Fam. 6. Chirocextridae. 

Body very elongate, strongly compressed. Mouth large, superior, 
cleft oblique. Margin of upper jaw formed by the firmly united 
premaxilla and maxilla. Teeth on jaws large, minute on palatine, 
pterygoid, and tongue. No adipose fin. Pectoral low down. Eye 
completely covered over by skin. Ventral very small, with 7 rays ; 
dorsal short ; anal long. Branchiostegals 8. Gill-rakers neither 
numerous nor long. Caudal forked. Scales deciduous, thin, cycloid. 
Head naked. Lateral line absent. Air-bladder large. Pseudo- 
branchiae absent. 

Mucous membrane of intestine forming a spiral fold comparable 
with the spiral valve in the Elasmobranchs. 

Only one genus. 

C4en. Chirocextrus Cuv. 

1817. Cuvier, Regne Anim., p. 178. 

With the characters of the family. A single species. 

Chirocentrus dorah Forsk. 
The Dorab ; Wolf Herring. 

1878. Day, Fish. India, p. 652, pi. clxvi, fig. 3. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 295 (references). 

Depth of body 6|— 6f, length of head 5|, in length. Eye 5| in 
length of head. (These proportions are those of specimens not 
exceeding 700 mm. in length.) Lower jaw projecting. D 16-18, 
A 33-35. (Plate VI, fig. 3.) 

Length.— j:^ to 12 ft. 

Colour. — Bluish or greenish above, silvery on sides and belly. 

Locality. — Natal, Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa and whole Indo-Pacific region. 

The larger specimens of the Wolf-Herring, so called from its fang- 
like teeth, are extremely vicious when caught, and must be handled 
with care. 

Fam. 7. Alepocephalidae. 

Body more or less compressed, skin scaly or naked. Mouth 
moderate or large, margin of upper jaw formed by premaxilla and 
maxilla. Teeth feeble. No adipose fin. No barbels. Pectoral 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 121 

moderately low down. Eye not covered over by skin. Ventral 
sometimes wanting. Dorsal rather long, far back, opposite anal or 
partly so. No air-bladder. Brancbiostegals 6-7. Gill-rakers not 
very numerous. Gill-openings very wide. Head naked. Scales, if 
present, thin, deciduous, cycloid. Lateral line usually distinct. 
Pseudobrancbiae present. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Body scaly. 

a. Maxilla without teeth ....... Alepocephalus. 

b. Maxilla with teeth ....... Bathytroctes. 

2. Body naked ........ Xenodermichthys. 



Gen. Alepocephalus Eisso. 

1820. Eisso, Mem. Ac. Nat. Sci. Turin, vol. xxv, p. 270. 

1908. Holt and Byrne, Fish. Iscl. Sci. Invest., 1906, vol. v, p. 32, 
pis. iii, iv (key to species). 

Body moderately compressed, scaly. Mouth moderate, snout 
pointed and somewhat prolonged. Teeth on premaxilla, vomers, 
_palatine, and lower jaw ; none on maxilla. Branchiostegals 6. Gill- 
membranes entirely separate. Dorsal opposite and about equal to 
anal. Ventrals rather small. 

Alepocephalus australis Brnrd. 
South African Smooth-Head. 

1923. Barnard, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. xiii, pt. 8, p. 440. 

Depth of body 5|-6, length of head 3, in length of body. Greatest 
depth at level of pectoral. Eye subequal to snout, not quite twice 
interorbital width, 3f in length of head, 10^-11 in length of body. 
Eye touching dorsal profile, interorbital space flat or slightly concave. 
Maxilla posteriorly enlarged, extending to vertical from centre of eye. 
Opercular flaps voluminous, overlapping. D 16-17, A 16-17 ; dorsal 
commencing opposite vent, slightly in advance of anal, which com- 
mences behind middle of body. P 10. Caudal peduncle 2f times 
its greatest depth. Scales : 1.1. 53-55 ; l.tr. 13-14. Gill-rakers 14 on 
lower part of anterior arch. Pyloric caeca (14-)15. (Plate VII, fig. 2.) 

Length. — Up to 325 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Deep violet-black on head, lighter on body. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 630 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 



122 A^inals of the South African Museum. 



Gen. Bathytroctes Gnthr. 

1878. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 249. 

Similar to Alepocephalus, but with teeth on the maxilla, 7 branchio- 
stegals, and dorsal arising rather further forward. Teeth on the 
premaxilla and mandible uniserial. 



^Bathytroctes rostratus Gnthr. 

1878. Gunther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 250. 

1887. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 227, pi. Iviii, fig. B. 

1902. Brauer, Verh. d. Zool. Gesell., vol. xii, p. 43 {proroscopus). 

1906. Id., Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 17, pi. xiv, 
figs. 2, 3. 

1911. Zugmayer, Res. Camp. Sci. Monaco, fasc. 35, p. 5, pi. i, 
fig. 1 (young). 

Depth of body 5-7, length of head 3-3|^, in length of body. Eye 
subequal to snout, greater than (Brauer : equal to) interorbital space, 
and 3-3f in length of head. Eye almost touching dorsal profile, 
interorbital concave. Maxilla broadening behind, extending to below 
posterior margin of eye. Premaxilla produced forwards in a short 
spiniform process. D 17-20, A 17-19 ; dorsal commencing slightly in 
front of level of vent. Scales : 1.1. 98-100 ; l.tr. 22-24. Gill-rakers 
20 on lower part of anterior arch. 

Length. — Up to 165 mm. 

Colour. — Dark bluish grey or black. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 700 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Temperate and tropical Atlantic, Indian Ocean, 
650-1000 fathoms. 

There is a specimen in the British Museum from the above locality, 
presumably collected by the s.s. " Pieter Faure," and registered under 
the name homopterus Vaill. 

B. homopterus Vaill. (Exp. Trav. Talisman. Poiss., pp. 153, 386, 
pi. xvii, fig. 1) has been considered by Vaillant himself (p. 386) and by 
Brauer (1906) as a synonym of rostratus, but Goode and Bean (Ocean 
Ichthyol., p. 43, 1896) have kept it separate. The latter course appears 
to be correct in view of the larger scales and lesser extent of the 
maxillary, though the necessity for the institution of a subgenus 
{Talismania) for homopterus and some other species, based on the 
relative positions of the dorsal and anal fins, is more than doubtful. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 123 

Compare, in this respect, Giinther's figure of rostratus with Vaillant's 
figure of homopterus. 

The British Museum specimen should be identified as rostratus. 



Gen. Xenodebmichthys Gnthr. 

1878. Glinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 250. 

1915. Roule, Bull. Mus. Paris, 1915, No. 2, p. 42. 

Body compressed, naked, skin minutely longitudinally rugulose, 
with more or less numerous, scattered nodular or hemispherical 
photophores. Mouth small. Teeth feeble and rudimentary on 
premaxilla and lower jaw. Dorsal opposite and equal to anals, both 
long and low (more than 25 rays). Ventral small. Lateral line more 
or less distinct. 

The genus Aleposomus Gill 1884 as emended by Roule 1915 only 
difiers in having the dorsal and anal shorter (less than 20 rays) and 
higher. 

Two species are known : X. nodulosus Gnthr. from Japan and 
X. socialis Vaill. from N. Atlantic. Aleposomus, as defined above, is 
restricted to the Indian Ocean. 

Xenodermichthys socialis Vaill. 
The Gregarious Smooth-skin. 

1888. Vaillant, Exp. Sci. Travaillem et Talisman, p. 162, pi. xiii, 
fig. 1. 

1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 65 (name only). 

1919. Roule, Res. Sci. Monaco, fasc. 52, p. 10, pi. i, fig. 5 
(references). 

Body deepest across base of pectoral. Depth 4|-5, length of head 
3|-3f , in length. Eye greater than interorbital width or snout, 3 in 
length of head, projecting above dorsal profile. Maxilla to vertical 
from centre of eye ; premaxilla and lower jaw with minute teeth. 
D 27-28, A 27-28 ; distance between last dorsal or anal ray and 1st 
accessory caudal ray subequal to greatest depth of caudal peduncle. 
Photophores scattered over head and body, most numerous on the 
lower surface, but nowhere forming definite lines, a few extending on 
to the vertical fins. 

Length. — Up to 147 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Dark brown ; eye purplish, photophores 
translucent azure blue or pearly. 



124 Annals of 'the South African Museum. 

Locality. — Ofi East London, 300-400 fathoms. 

Distribution. — N. Atlantic and N.W. coast of Africa, 380-700 
fathoms. 

There are two specimens in the collection, the larger measuring 
65 mm., presumably the ones on which Gilchrist based his record. 
The number of photophores, as Roule (1919) points out, is variable. 
There are only two points of difference between the South African 
and the Northern specimens. The body proportions are different, the 
South African specimens being relatively deeper, with a longer head ; 
the greatest depth being immediately behind the head. This may be 
accounted for by their being immature. Vaillant gives the number of 
pyloric caeca as 5-6. Later writers have neither confirmed nor 
altered this number. In the present specimens there are 7 (65 mm.) 
and 8 (44 mm.). 

It is probable that the South African specimens represent a distinct 
species and should be given a separate name ; but as the present 
examples are immature, it is better to wait for the results of the 
s.s. '• Pickle " (see Fish. Mar. Biol. Survey Rep., p. 1, 1921). 



Fam. 8. Goxoehyxchidae. 

Mouth small, inferior, with fleshy lips. Snout projecting, with a 
single median barbel. Margin of upper jaw formed by premaxilla 
and maxilla, the latter articulated above the former. Teeth : a 
round patch of bluntly conical teeth on each pterygoid opposed to a 
similar patch on the hyoid bones. Pectoral low down. No adipose 
fin. Dorsal far back, opposite ventrals, short, as is likewise the anal. 
Ventral with 9-10 rays. Branchiostegals 4. Gill-rakers few and 
short. No free tongue. Gill-membranes united to isthmus. Air- 
bladder absent. Head and body with small ctenoid scales. Pseudo- 
branchiae present. Caudal forked. Lateral line distinct. Eyes 
covered by skin. 

A single existing genus containing one species. Nothing is known 
of its spawning habits or life-history. 



Gen. GoxoRHYXCHUS Gronov. 

1763. Gronovius, Zoophyl., No. 199. 

1846. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xix, p. 202. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 125 

Gonorhynchus gonorhynchus (Gmel.). 

Beaked Salmon or Sand Fish (Australia). 

1846. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xix, pp. 207, 
212, pi. dlxviii. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 73 (references). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 299 (references). 

Body very elongate, rounded. Depth of body 11|^ (young) to 8 
(adult), head 4|— 4| times in length. Eye 4|-5 in length of head. 
D 11-13, A 9-10. Both lips fringed with papillae. One median 
papilla and 2 pairs of submedian papillae on roof of mouth in front of 
the pterygoid teeth. (Plate VI, fig. 4.) 

Length. — Up to 500 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish brown above, silvery below, a pink lateral stripe 
from snout to tail ; upper part of iris, axillary scale of pectoral, and 
tips of caudal lobes pink ; tips of pectoral, ventral, dorsal, and anal 
fins, and median part of each caudal lobe black ; mouth, branchial 
cavity, accessory branchial organ, and whole intestinal canal purplish. 

Locality. — Port Nolloth, Table Bay, and False Bay to Natal, shallow 
water. 

Distribution. — Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. 

This fish frequents sandy localities. It can scarcely be classed 
among the edible fishes, though its flesh possesses no injurious pro- 
perties and it is frequently eaten in New Zealand. 

A curious accessory branchial organ is present behind the 4th gill- 
arch, partly attached to this arch and partly to the humeral arch. 

Giinther (Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. vii, p. 374) states that he found 
the young examples less elongate than the adult. I find exactly the 
contrary, as will be seen from the relative proportions of depth to 
length given above. The youngest example I have seen is 75 mm. 
and is extraordinarily slender. 

The following three fresh- water families complete the representatives 
of the Clupeoid series of the Isospondyli so far as South Africa is 
concerned. They are dealt with in Gilchrist and Thompson's "' Fresh- 
water Fishes of South Africa," but the diagnoses of the families may 
be given here. 

Fam. MORMYRIDAE. 

Body more or less elongate. Mouth terminal, subterminal, or 
inferior, often small. Margin of upper jaw formed by the single 



126 Annals of the South African Museum. 

premaxillary bone and the two maxillae. Teeth usually small and 
feeble ; usually some on the parasphenoid and the tongue ; no pharyn- 
geal teeth. Pectorals low. No adipose fin. Dorsal and anal often 
very long. Air-bladder present. Gill-rakers and branchiostegals 
few (4-8). Ventral, anal, and caudal absent in Gymnarchus. Pseudo- 
branchiae and eyes covered over with skin. Head naked. Scales 
very small, cycloid. Caudal forked. Gill-slits very small. Gill- 
membranes. 

Most of the members of this family possess an electric organ situated 
on either side of the caudal peduncle. The family is also remarkable 
for the comparatively enormous size of the brain. 

*Fam. Pantodontidae. 

Body not very elongate. Mouth large. Teeth on all the usual 
bones, including the pharyngeals. Premaxilla single. Pectorals 
enlarged. Ventral with 7 rays, some filamentous, placed exception- 
ally far forward, immediately behind pectoral. Dorsal short, far 
back. No adipose fin. Scales large, cycloid. 

The only known species, the little " fresh-water flying fish " of the 
Zambesi, is not represented in the South African Museum collection. 

Fam. Kneriidae. 

Body elongate. Mouth large, inferior, toothless. Gill-opening very 
small. Scales small, cycloid. Branchiostegals 3. Dorsal and anal 
short. Air-bladder present. 

Fam. Salmonidae. 

Body elongate. Mouth terminal, usually large. Teeth varying, 
sometimes wanting. Gill-membranes not connected. Branchio- 
stegals 10-20. Gill-rakers various. Pseudobranchiae present. Air- 
bladder large, only exceptionally absent. Adipose dorsal fin present. 
Anal long or short. Dorsal not long. Ventral with 6-14 rays. 
Caudal more or less forked. Head naked. Scales cycloid. Lateral 
line present. Eggs large. Stomach siphonal, not in the form of a 
blind sac. Pyloric caeca numerous. 

Although this family is only represented in South Africa by intro- 
duced fresh-water species, yet as these species sometimes find their 
way into the sea, and as, moreover, they are not mentioned in Gilchrist 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 127 

and Thompson's " Freshwater Fishes of South Africa," they may 
receive brief notice here. 

The family is one of numerous marine and freshwater species in the 
Northern Hemisphere, whence several kinds have been transported 
and acclimatised in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Gen. Salmo Linn. 

1758. Linnaeus, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 308. 

Mouth deeply cleft. Teeth strong on jaws, vomer, palatine, and 
tongue. Vomer flat. Scales small. Branchiostegals 10-15. Dorsal 
and anal fins short. Ventrals with 9-10 rays. Males in the breeding 
season usually with the jaws prolonged and front teeth enlarged. 

The marine species like the Salmon (S. solar) and the Sea Trout 
(*S. trutta) are anadromous, i.e. they migrate up the rivers for the pur- 
pose of spawning. The other trouts are fluviatile all their life. 

In South Africa the introduction of the Brown, Loch Leven, and 
Rainbow Trouts {S. fario, levenensis, and irideus respectively) dates 
from about the year 1894. The history of the undertaking may be 
read in W. W. Thompson's " Sea Fisheries of the Cape Colony (1913) " 
and A. H. Reid's " Trout Fishing and Angling in South Africa (1922)." 

Key to the species of Trout in South Africa. 

1. 1.1. 140. A. 14. A red or pink lateral stripe from head to tail . irideus. 

2.1.1.120. A. 11-12. No red lateral stripe. 

a. Pyloric caeca 33-46 .... fario. 

b. Pyloric caeca 60-80 .... levenensis. 

Fam. 9. Argentinidae. 
Smelts. 

Body elongate. Mouth terminal. Teeth varying. Gill-mem- 
branes not connected. Branchiostegals 6-10. Gill-rakers usually 
long. Pseudobranchiae present. Air-bladder large, single. Adipose 
dorsal fin present. Anal moderate. Dorsal short. Caudal forked. 
Ventral with 8-14 rays. Head naked. Scales cycloid (usually). 
Lateral line present. Eggs large. Stomach a blind sac. Pyloric 
caeca few or none. 

A family of small marine fishes, some of them anadromous, some 
of them inhabitants of deep water, and most of them found in the 
Northern Hemisphere. They are easily distinguished from the 
Salmonidae by the fewer branchiostegals, as well as the stomach and 



128 Annals of the South African Museum. 

pyloric caeca. The majority of them, like the Smelt, are delicate 
food-fishes. 

Gen. Argentina Artedi. 

1758. Artedi, Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 315. 

Mouth small, maxilla not reaching level of eye. Scales rather large, 
sometimes rough, with small spinose points. No teeth on jaws ; fine 
points on foreparts of vomer and palatine and on each side on tongue. 
Dorsal fin short, in advance of ventrals. Branchiostegals 6-8. Pyloric 
caeca present. 

Chiefly Atlantic, but one species from California and one from 
Australasia. 

"^Argentina sphyraena Linn. 
Siil-Smelt or Argentine. 

1766. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 12, p. 513. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 51. 

1895. Smitt, Skandin. Fish., p. 917, fig. 230. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., vii, 
p. 3. 

Depth 7-8, length of head 3|-4, in length of body. Eye 3-3| in 
length of head, subequal to snout. D 9-12, height about 1^ in length 
of head ; A 11-13, base greater than diameter of eye ; V 10-11 ; 
P 13-14. Gill-rakers 13-14 on anterior arch. Scales rough : 
l.L 52-58 ; l.tr. 7. 

Length. — Up to 265 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, translucent. 

Locality. — Natal coast and off Delagoa Bay, 180-201 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean, N. Atlantic, (?) New Zealand. 

If the New Zealand and South African specimens are correctly 
identified, this species appears to have a remarkable distribution. 

Fam. 10. MiCROSTOMIDAE. 

Body elongate. Mouth small, terminal. Teeth small, on lower 
jaw and vomer. Gill-membranes separate or united. Branchio- 
stegals, 3-4. Adipose dorsal present. Dorsal short. Ventral with 
8-12 rays. Head naked. Scales deciduous, cycloid, thin. Lateral 
line present. Pyloric caeca few or none. 

A small family of bathypelagic fishes allied to, and evidently 
derived from, the same stock as the typical Salmonids. 



PLATE VII. 

FIG. 

1. Pellona natalensis G. and T. (original) 

2. Alepocejihaius australis Bmrd. (original) 

3. Bathymacrops macrolepis Gilch. (after Gilchrist) 

4. Astronestlies boulengeri Gilch. (after Gilchrist) 

5. Malacosteus indicus Gnthr. (after Braner) . 



TEST-PAGE 

110 
121 
129 
133 
139 



Ann. S. Afr Mus., Vol. XXI. 



Plate VTI. 





^'eill d- Co., Ltd. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 129 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Ventral opposite dorsal ....... Bathylagus. 

2. Ventral behind dorsal ........ Bathymacrops. 

3. Ventral in advance of dorsal ...... Rhynchohyalus. 

Gen. Bathylagus, Gnthr. 

1878. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 248. 

1896. Jordan and Evermann, U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull, vol. xlvii, p. 528. 

Body compressed. No luminous spots. Teeth in upper jaw 
rudimentary, in lower jaw very small, minute on vomer and palatine. 
Eye very large. Dorsal and ventrals opposite, about in middle of 
body. Anal moderate or rather long. Gill-membranes united. 
Gill-rakers rather long. Pseudobranchiae well developed. 

^Bathylagus antarcticus Gnthr. 

1878. Gunther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 248. 
1887. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 220. 

1905. Lonnberg, Swed. Siidpol. Exp., vol. v, p. 68 {B. gracilis). 

1906. Brauer, Deutsch. Tiefsee Exp. Valdivia, vol. xv, pt. 1, 
p. 12, text-fig. 2. 

Depth of body much less than length of head, 6-7^ and 4J times 
respectively in length. Eye twice as large as snout, 2J in length of 
head. D 9-10 ; A rather long, 18-22. 

Length. — Up to 130 mm. 

Colour. — Dark brown or blackish. 

ioca%.— South of Agulhas Bank (37° 31' S., 17° 1' E.), 1000 
fathoms. 

Distribution. — Southern Indo- Antarctic Ocean, 800-2000 fathoms. 

Gen. Bathymacrops Gilch. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., lii, p. 53. 

Body compressed. No luminous spots. Teeth in upper jaw 
absent, well developed on lower jaw and vomer. Eye very large. 
Ventral behind dorsal, with 12 (10 in figure) rays. Anal rather short. 
Gill-membranes united anteriorly. Gill-rakers rather long. 

^Bathymacrops macrolepis Gilch. 

1922. Gilchrist, he. cit., p. 53, pi. ix, fig. 2. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., vii, 
p. 4. 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 9 



130 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Depth of body 7|, length of head 5, in length of body. Eye 2^ in 
length of head. Interorbital equal to snout, | diameter of eye. D 9, 
A 9 (6 in figure). Scales : 1.1. ca. 50 ; l.tr. 8. (Plate VII, fig. 3.) 

Length.— m 

Colour. — Uniform brown. 

Locality. — Natal coast, and off Delagoa Bay, 240-260 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Gen. Rhyxchohyalus nom. nov. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., vii, 
p. 4. {Hyalorhynchus, nom. preocc. Ogilby 1910.) 

Body short, compressed. Snout long, rounded, transparent. 
Scales moderate. Eye apparently telescopic (as in Winteria). Mouth 
small. Teeth absent. Dorsal short. Adipose dorsal present. Ven-' 
trals in middle of body, in advance of dorsal, elongate. Pectoral 
moderate. Anal short, behind end of dorsal. Caudal forked. 
Pseudobranchiae absent. Branchiostegals, gill-membranes, and 
pyloric caeca (?). 

Owing to no mention being made of the branchiostegal rays and 
other characters, it is uncertain in what family this Salmonid should 
be placed. Gilchrist evidently referred to this form when he men- 
tioned (1922, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 53) a " new genus 
allied to Winteria.'" The relationship seems clear, but unfortunately 
Brauer in describing Winteria also made no mention of the number of 
branchiostegals or of the internal anatomy. 

Both genera may be placed provisionally in the Microstomidae. 

Winteria Brauer, 1901, differs in possessing pseudobranchiae and 
small ventral fins. One species, W. telescopa Brauer, is known from 
deep water in the Gulf of Guinea. 

*Rhynchohyalus natalensis (G. and v. B.). 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, loc. cit., p. 4, pi. i, fig. 1. 

Depth nearly 4, length of head 2| (3 according to figure), in length 
of body. Eye 4|^ in length of head. Snout equal to ^ length of head. 
D 10, A 7, P 14, V 12, rays longer than length of head. Scales : 1.1. 41. 

Length. — 158 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Yellowish ; operculum bronzy ; abdomen, 
ventral fins, top of pectoral fin, adipose, and base of caudal black. 

Locality. — Off Table Bay, 135 fathoms (not Natal !). 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 131 



Fam. Galaxiidae. 

1905. Regan, Proc. Zool. Soc, 1905, vol. ii, p. 363 (revision). 

1913. Id., Tr. Roy. Soc. Edin., vol. xl, pt. 9, p. 389 (systematic 
position and distribution). 

Body elongate, naked. Mouth terminal, moderate. Teeth small, 
on jaws (except maxilla), pterygoid, and tongue. Gill-membranes 
free. Branchiostegals 5-11. Air-bladder present. No adipose dorsal. 
Caudal truncate or subtruncate. Dorsal far back, more or less 
opposite anal. Ventrals with 6-7 rays (absent in the New Zealand 
mud-burrowing Neochanna). Pseudobranchiae present. Lateral line 
absent. Mesocoracoid absent. 

A family of nearly 30 species, circumpolar in distribution in the 
Southern Hemisphere. They are closely allied structurally to the 
Salmonidae, and like them are a group of marine fishes which have 
more or less permanently established themselves in fresh water. 
Many of the species, e.g. the South African ones, are non-migratory, 
and live permanently in the rivers and lakes ; others, however, are 
migratory and descend to the sea to spawn (catadromous), in this 
respect being the opposite of the Salmonids, which are anadromous. 

The extent of their distribution includes the southern portions 
of the southern continents : South Africa, Australia, Tasmania, 
New Zealand and neighbouring islands, South America, Falkland 
Islands. There are two or three closely allied species in South 
Africa, the description of which will be found in Gilchrist and 
Thompson's " Freshwater Fishes of South Africa." 

The family was formerly ranged in the Haplomi on account of the 
absence of the mesocoracoid arch, but the other resemblances in 
osteology to the Argentinidae and Salmonidae as well as the dentition 
and the absence of oviducts, have induced Regan (1909) to transfer 
them to the Isospondyli. 



Fam. 11. Stomiatidae. 

Body short or elongate, more or less compressed. Skin naked or 
scaly. Photophores more or less developed. Mouth large. Teeth 
well developed, often very powerful. Maxilla more developed than 
premaxilla, forming part of upper jaw and set with teeth. Adipose 
dorsal present or absent. Pectoral low down, sometimes reduced 
or even absent. Ventrals usually far back. Dorsal and anal usually 



132 Annals of the South African Museum. 

far back, though dorsal sometimes far forward. Lateral line present 
or absent. Branchiostegals 5-18. Gill-rakers well developed or 
obsolete. With or without a barbel on chin. Gill-openings wide. 
Air-bladder present or absent. Pseudobranchiae present or absent. 

This family embraces a large number of deep-sea fishes which were 
formerly ranged under two families : the Stomiatidae and Sternopty- 
chidae. They were then spht up into several famihes, chiefly by 
American authors, but have now been reunited under the one name 
by Boulenger and Regan. One of their characteristic features is the 
well-developed maxilla set with teeth, which at once distinguishes 
them from other deep-sea fishes, e.g. the Alepocephalidae and Micro- 
stomidae, and also the Scopelidae (Division Iniomi). 

All the forms are bathypelagic, often Hving at great depths, but 
apparently in many cases rising towards the surface at night time. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Gill-rakers obsolete. 

A. Dorsal not far forward {Stomiatinae). 

1. Adipose fin present. 

a. Maxillary teeth close-set, comb-like . . AstronestJies. 

b. Maxillary teeth distant from one another . Borostomias. 

2. Adipose fin absent. 

a. Eyes not stalked. 

i. Dorsal and anal very long, dorsal begiiming about in 
middle of body .... Idiacanthus. 
ii. Dorsal and anal not very long, far back, 
a. Barbel present. 

* Pectoral normal .... Stomias. 

** Pectoral reduced to a single ray Xtostojnias. 

/3. Barbel absent .... Malacosteus. 

b. Eyes stalked ...... Stylophihalmus. 

B. Dorsal far forward {Cliauliodontinae) .... Chnuliodus. 
II. Gill-rakers developed. Barbel present .... Melano-'>toinias. 

ni. Gill-rakers well developed. Barbel absent. 
A. Body elongate or verj" elongate. 

1. Photophores evenly arranged. 

a. Dorsal and anal arising at same level. 

i. A 23-31. Suborbital expanded . . Gonostoma. 

ii. A 16-20. Suborbital not expanded . Cyclotkone. 

b. Dorsal slightly in advance of anal, its posterior rays overlap- 

ping anterior rays of latter, 
i. Moderately elongate. Depth ^ of length . Yarrella. 
ii. Very elongate. Depth at least xti of length Diplophos. 

c. Dorsal entireh' in advance of anal . . Photickthys. 

2. Photophores more or less aggregated into groups . Maurolicus. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 133 

B. Body short (Sternoptychinae). 

1. A bony plate in front of dorsal rays. Post-temporal spine weak. 

a. Eyes vertical ...... Argyropelecus. 

b. Eyes lateral ...... Sternopfyx. 

2. No upstanding bony plate in front of dorsal. Post-temporal spine 

strong ....... Polyipnus. 



Gen. AsTRONESTHES Ricti. 

1845. Richardson, Voy. Sulphur. Ichthyol., p. 97. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 27 
(account of genus). 

Body elongate. Skin naked, with photophores arranged in longi- 
tudinal rows on lower part of body. Mouth large. Teeth strong, 
unequal, canines in both jaws ; teeth on palatine, and also as a rule 
on the tongue ; maxilla with a comb-like series of close-set teeth on 
its posterior half. Barbel present. Paired fins well developed ; 
ventral before middle of body. Dorsal arising behind ventrals. 
Adipose dorsal and also usually an adipose ventral present. Caudal 
forked. Lateral line absent. Gill-rakers minute. Pseudobranchiae 
absent. Branchiostegals rather numerous. Air-bladder present. 
Pyloric caeca said to be absent, but 2 in boulengeri. 

A small genus hitherto only recorded from the deep water of the 
North and South Atlantic. The generic name alludes to the star-like 
appearance of the photophores, and does not, as has been suggested, 
signify star-fish eater ; from the character of their teeth it is evident 
that these fishes live on mobile prey, not sedentary star-fishes. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. D 15-16. A 15 . . . . . . . . . boulengeri. 

2. D 10. A 27 . . . . . . . . . . capensis. 

Astronesthes boulengeri Gilch. 

1902. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S.A., vol. ii, p. 103, pi. vi. 

Depth of body 6, length of head 5, in length of body. Eye shorter 
than snout. If in interorbital width and 4^ in length of head. Maxilla 
extending almost to hind margin of operculum ; the 2nd canine 
from the front in both jaws very long. Free portion of tongue very 
small, without teeth. D 15-16, A 15. Dorsal arising immediately 
behind level of ventral, and anal arising immediately behind level of 
end of dorsal. Adipose dorsal fin above posterior half of anal ; adipose 



134 Annals of the South African Museum. 

ventral fin just in front of vent. Brancliiostegals 18. A small 
backwardly directed spine above eye. Photopbores numerous ; 
minute spots scattered over head and body cbiefly on lower surface ; 
larger pearly spots in a single row at base of branchiostegals, and in 
a double row along whole lower surface of body ; about 15 between 
pectoral and ventral and 18 between ventral and anal ; one spot on 
edge of operculum and another covered by a flap of skin Like an eyelid, 
immediately below eye ; glandular patches, probably luminous, 
between dorsal and adipose dorsal, and between latter and caudal, 
on either side of anal and between anal and caudal. Barbel on chin 
extending at least to end of lower jaw, with flattened expanded apex. 
(Plate VII, fig. 4.) 

Length. — Up to 213 mm. (without caudal). 

Colour. — Very deep brown, probably black in life, bronzy on 
operculum. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point and East London, 360-490 fathoms. 

Type and cotype in South African Museum. 

An anatomical examination of the type shows that the " pit in front 
of the anus," mentioned in the original description, is in reality the 
vent, the opening behind it being the opening of the urino-genital 
organs. There are 2 short blunt pyloric caeca (Brauer gives absence 
of pyloric caeca as a generic character). 

The pelvic girdle is remarkably large, consisting of an ovoid plate 
38 mm. in length, extending from midway between bases of pectoral 
and ventral to -J distance between bases of ventral and ventral adipose 
fin. This plate is composed of the 2 pelvic plates incompletely 
fused posteriorly, rounded in front, and notched behind. There is a 
strong ridge on the ventral (outer) side from near the front to the base 
of the fin-rays, and a less prominent one from the hind end. 



^Astronesthes capensis G. and v. B. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., 
vii, p. 5. 

Depth of body 6, length of head 5|, in length of body. Eye greater 
than snout, a little over 5 in length of head. Two long teeth on 
vomer, and 3 on each palatine. (Upper jaw damaged.) D 10, 
A 27. Dorsal arising the length of its base behind level of ventral. 
Origin of anal in relation to end of dorsal (?). Adipose ventral fin (?) 
absent. Photophores : 14 between isthmus and pect^ral^ 13 between 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 135 

pectoral and ventral, 15 between ventral and anal, and 17 along base 
of anal. Barbel lyV i^i length of head. 

Length. — 170 mm. 

Colour. — Probably black. 

Locality.— 0^ Table Bay, 790 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Although the character of the maxillary teeth could not be deter- 
mined, this species appears to belong to Astronesthes and not to 
Borostomias. 



Gen. Borostomias Regan. 

1908, Regan, Tr. Linn. Soc, vol. xii, pt. 3, p. 217. 

Similar to Astronesthes, but with the teeth on maxilla few and set 
widely apart, not in a comb-like series ; ventral fins behind middle 
of body, and dorsal rather shorter. 

This genus contains, besides the species mentioned below, 
B. elucens (Brauer) from the Gulf of Guinea and B. braueri Regan, 
from the Western Indian Ocean. 



^Borostomias richardsoni (Poey). 

1853. Poey, Mem. Hist. Nat. Cuba, vol. i, p. 176 {Astronesthes r.). 

1895. Goode and Bean, Oceanic Ichthyol., p. 106, fig. 125 [As- 
tronesthes r.). 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 29 
{Astronesthes r.). 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., 
vii, p. 5 {Astronesthes r.). 

Depth of body 7-8, length of head 4§-4i, in length of body. Eye 
greater than snout, 4 in length of head. Maxilla extending to edge 
of operculum. D 11, A 14-15. Dorsal arising above ventral and 
ending well in front of level of origin of anal. No adipose ventral. 
Photophores : one suborbital and a double row along ventral surface, 
about 15 between pectoral and ventral, and 15-20 between ventral 
and anal. 

Length. — Up to 320 mm. 

Colour. — Black. 

LocaUty.~0& Great Fish Bay (16° 24' S., 11° 8' E.), 1100 fathoms ; 
off Table Bay, 985 fathoms. 

Distribution. — West Indies, Pacific Ocean. 



136 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Gen. Idiacaxthus Peters. 

1876. Peters, Monatsber. Ak. Wiss., Berlin, p. 846. 

Body extremely narrow and elongate. Skin naked, with longi- 
tudinally arranged photopliores. Mouth large. Teeth unequal, 
extremely large, canine-like, barbed, depressible in both jaws ; teeth 
similar on vomer, palatine, and tongue. Pectoral fins absent, ventral 
fins in middle of length. Dorsal and anal very long, dorsal com- 
mencing in front of ventral ; each dorsal and anal ray with a spine at 
its base on either side. No adipose fins. Caudal forked. Gill- 
rakers obsolete. Lateral line absent. Gill-opening very wide. 
Branchiostegals numerous (14-16). Air-bladder, none. Pseudo- 
branchiae absent. Pyloric caeca few. Barbel present. 

Extremely delicate fishes, with feebly developed muscular system, 
inhabiting deep water in the tropical and subtropical regions. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. T) 60. A 45. Ventrals midway between head and vent . . . ferox. 

2. D 54. A 35. Ventrals much nearer vent than head . . atlanticus. 

^Idiacanthus ferox (Gnthr.). 

1878. Gtinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 181. 

1887. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 216, pi. lii, fig. D. 

1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 66 (name only). 

Length of head about 14 times in length of body. Eye rather 
smaller than snout, 4^5 in length of head. D 60, A 45. Dorsal 
commencing above ventrals, which are midway between head and vent. 
Barbel twice as long as head, towards the end expanded in a narrow 
fold on either side, terminating in a fine point. Photophores : a 
round spot below eye and above middle of upper jaw, smaller spots 
at bases of branchiostegals, a double row along belly to ventral fins, 
whence a single row is continued to the tail, about 23 in front of ventrals 
and 17 between ventrals and vent. 

Length.- — Up to 200 mm. 

Colour. — Jet black, expanded folds on barbel white. 

Locality. — South African seas (Gilchrist). 

Distribution.— Middle of N. Atlantic, 2750 fathoms. 

*Idiacanthus atlanticus Brauer. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 62, 
text-fig. 21. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 137 

Length of head 14| in length of body. Eye 1| in snout, 7 in length 
of head. D 54, A 35. Dorsal commencing very slightly in advance 
of ventrals, which are much nearer vent than head. Barbel probably 
similar to that oiferox. Photophores : as in ferox, about 23 in front 
of ventrals and 22 between ventrals and vent. 

Length. — Up to 204 mm. 

Colour. — Jet black, fins white. 

Locality.— 0& coast of S.W. Africa (25° 25' S., 6° 12' E. ; 26° 49' S., 
5° 54' E. ; 28° 28' S., 6° 13' E.), 600-2000 fathoms. 

Although not recorded from within the limits of our region, it is 
sufficiently near to be included for the sake of comparison with ferox. 



Gen. Stomias Cuv. 

1817. Cuvier, Eegne Anim., vol. ii, p. 184 (or 3rd ed., Poissons, 232). 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 42 
(account of genus). 

Body elongate, compressed. Skin covered with very thin, hexa- 
gonal scales, not overlapping one another, with longitudinal rows of 
photophores. Mouth large. Teeth large, unequal and more or less 
widely spaced on lower jaw and premaxilla ; a comb-like series of 
numerous small close-set teeth on maxilla ; teeth on vomer, palatine, 
and tongue. Paired fins well developed, ventral far back. Dorsal 
opposite anal, far back. No adipose fins. Caudal forked. Lateral 
line absent. Gill-rakers absent. Branchiostegals rather numerous, 
Pseudobranchiae absent. One pyloric caecum. Air-bladder absent. 
Barbel present. 

A genus of about a dozen species, bathypelagic, widely distributed. 

'^Stomias boa (Risso). 

1810. Risso, Ichthyol. Nice, p. 330, pi. x, fig. 34. 

1846. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poissons, vol. xviii, 
p. 372, fig. 545. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 107, fig. 127 {S. ferox). 

1906. Brauer, loc. cit., p. 49. 

1911. Zugmayer, Res. Sci. Monaco, vol. xxxv, p. 71, pi. iv, fig. 1. 

Depth of body 12-13, length of head 10, in length of body. Eye 
subequal to snout, 4-6 in length of head, larger in cJ than ?. D 17-18, 
A 19-21. Barbel about as long as head terminating in 3 short 
filaments. Premaxilla with 4-5 teeth, larger than those in lower 



138 Annals of the South African Museum. 

jaw, the 2nd from front very long. Scales : 1.1. 76-78. Photo- 
phores : a suborbital spot, a row along bases of branchiostegals, 
2 longitudinal rows on lower part of flanks from isthmus to caudal 
and from operculum to anal, 44-47 from pectoral to ventral and 10-13 
from ventral to anal. 

Length. — Up to 205 mm. 

Colour.- — Dark brown, lower two rows of scales silvery, belly black. 

Locality.—O^ Cape Point (35° 32' S., 18° 20' E.), 1000 fathoms. 

Distribution. — North and Middle Atlantic, Mediterranean, South 
Pacific, 500-2500 fathoms. 

The German " Valdivia " is the only exploring vessel which has 
captured this species in South African waters. 

Gen. Neostomias Gilch. 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S.A., vol. iv, p. 168; 

1914. Pappenheim, Deutsch. Siidpol. Exp., vol. xv (Zool.), pt. 7, 
p. 175. 

Body elongate, compressed. Skin naked, with longitudinally 
arranged photophores. Mouth large. Teeth not very large, canine- 
like, depressible ; no teeth on vomer or palatine ; (?) on tongue. 
Barbel present. Pectoral reduced to a single fine ray. Ventrals 
behind middle of body. Dorsal and anal far back. No adipose 
fins. Caudal forked. Lateral line absent. Gill-opening wide. 
Branchiostegals not numerous (9). Pseudobranchiae absent. Air- 
bladder and pyloric caeca (?). 

This genus is close to Eustomias Vaill. {E. obscurus from the Azores), 
but has only 1 filament in the pectoral instead of 3. Only one other 
species, N. fissibarbis Pappenh. from the N. Atlantic, is known. 

^Neostomias filiferum Gilch. 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Invest. S.A., vol. iv, p. 168, pi. 1. 

Depth of body 11^, length of head 8, in length of body. Eye about 
li^ in snout, 5 in length of head. D 22, A 40. Dorsal commencing 
above middle of anal ; pectoral ray not as long as head. Barbel 
very long, extending almost to middle of anal, filamentous, with 3 
accessory filaments arising at first ^ of length, apex bulbous, with 
several short filaments. Photophores : none on head, single spots at 
bases of branchiostegals, 2 rows along lower part of each flank from 
operculum to beginning of anal, whence a single row continues to tail, 
about 67 between isthmus and anal. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 139 

Length. — Up to 230 mm. 

Colour. — Jet black, barbel colourless. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 660 fathoms. 

Type (?) lost. 

Only a single specimen of this form has been hitherto found, and it 
appears to have been lost, as it is no longer amongst the " Pieter 
Faure " collection which is now preserved in the South African 
Museum. 

Gen. Malacosteus Ayres. 

1857. Ayres, J. Boston Nat. Hist. Soc, vol. vi, p. 53. 

Body compressed. Skin naked. Photophores on the head and 
body, but the latter completely hidden under the skin (Brauer). 
Snout very short. Mouth very large ; end of jaws reaching beyond 
root of pectoral. Eye large. Teeth in single series on both jaws 
and tongue, none on vomer or palatine. Dorsal and anal far back. 
Ventral behind middle of body. Pectoral reduced (3 rays). No 
adipose fin. Caudal forked. No barbel. Pyloric caeca none. 

^Malacosteus indicus Gnthr. 

1878. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 181. 

1887. Id., Challenger Eep., vol. xxii, p. 214, pi. liv, fig. B. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 65, pi. iv, 
fig. 1, text-figs. 23-25. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 54. 

Depth of body 5|— 6|, length of head 3^-4, in length of body. 
Eye equal to interorbital, 4-4 ^ in head, 3-3| times as long as snout. 
Largest teeth not longer than diameter of eye. D 16-18, A 18-20. 
Photophores : one large crescentic suborbital, one as large as or 
larger than eye, one postorbital, smaller than eye, circular and movable, 
2 lateral subcutaneous rows. (Plate VII, fig. 5.) 

Length. — Up to 112 mm. 

Colour. — Velvety black, the suborbital photophore crimson, the 
postorbital one green. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 1014 fathoms. 

Distribution. — South Atlantic and Indo-Pacific, 500-1250 fathoms. 

Closely related to the tropical Atlantic species niger Ayres. 

Gen. Stylophthalmus Brauer. 

1902. Brauer, Zool. Anzeiger, vol. xxv, p. 298. 

1902. Id., Verb. D. Zool. Gesellsch., p. 56 (structure of eye). 



140 Annals of the South African Museum. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 66. 

1916. Regan, Brit. Antarct. Exp. Zool., vol. i, pt. 4, p. 136. 

Body extremely long, snake-like, compressed. Head flattened. 
Skin naked, with a longitudinal row of photophores. Snout long, 
rounded, cleft of mouth not very wide. Teeth small, on both jaws. 
Pectorals present. Ventrals absent. Dorsal and anal far back, former 
commencing in front of latter. No adipose fins. Caudal forked. 
Lateral line absent. Vent situate on a papilla. Eyes situate on 
stalks, which in young stages are very long. 



^Stylophthalmus paradoxus Brauer. 

1906. Brauer, loc. cit., p. 67, pi. v, figs. 1-7. 

1916. Regan, loc. cit., p. 137. 

Depth of body 30, length of head about 8, in length of body. 
D about 60, A about 33. Eye-stalks short in young larvae, in later 
ones very long, i— ^ of body length. In still older stages they appear 
to grow shorter again. The same applies to the anal papilla. Photo- 
phores on branchiostegal membrane and from isthmus to caudal. 

Length. — Up to 40 mm. 

Colour. — Colourless, a series of black specks along sides. 

Locality.— OS. Cape Point (33° 23' S., 16° 19' E., and 36° 23' S., 
17° 38' E.), 1000-1250 fathoms. 

Distribution. — S. Atlantic, Antarctic and Indian Oceans, 750-1250 
fathoms. Regan's specimen was taken at a depth of 1 fathom from 
the surface. 

This remarkable form was first taken by the German Deep Sea 
Expedition and later by the British Antarctic Expedition. 

Although these larvae cannot be definitely referred to any adult form, 
there seems no doubt that the specimens belong to this family. The 
varying length of the eye-stalks suggests that the larvae belong to 
more than one species of Stomiatid. 

Gen. Chauliodus B1. and Schn. 

1801. Bloch and Schneider, Syst. IchthyoL, p. 430. 

1906. Brauer, "Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1 p. 37 
(account of genus). 

Body very elongate, compressed. Skin with very thin, deciduous, 
hexagonal scales, not overlapping one another, with longitudinal 
rows of photophores. Head deep. Mouth large. Teeth strong, 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 141 

unequal ; canines in both jaws ; teeth on palatine ; maxilla with a 
comb-like series of teeth on posterior half. Paired fins well developed. 
First ray elongate. Dorsal far forward, short. Anal far back. Adipose 
dorsal and ventral fins. Caudal forked. Gill-rakers minute. Lateral 
line absent. Pseudobranchiae absent. Branchiostegals numerous. 
Air-bladder present. Barbel absent or quite rudimentary. 

Bathypelagic in tropical and subtropical seas, sometimes apparently 
ascending to the surface. 



Chauliodus sloanei B. Schn. 
Shane's Viper-Fish. 

1801. Bloch and Schneider, Syst. Ichthyol., p. 430. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 96, fig. 115. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 40, 
text-figs. 7-9. 

1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 66 (name only). 

Depth of head about equal to its length, 7-8 times in length of body ; 
body less deep than head, tapering gradually posteriorly. Eye equal 
or slightly larger than snout, about 4 in length of head, larger in ^ 
than $. Maxilla extending to edge of operculum. First canine from 
front in lower jaw, 2nd in upper jaw are longest. D 6, A 11-13. 
First dorsal ray elongate, thread-like, extending back to adipose dorsal. 
Branchiostegals 18-20. Scales : 1.1. about 60. Photophores : small 
spots along jaws and lower surface of body, 1 in centre of each scale, 
there being 23-26 between ventral and anal fins, 2 below eye, and 2 on 
operculum. Pyloric caeca 3. 

Length. — Up to 215 mm. 

CoZowr.— Brownish, with metallic silver sheen, the photophores 
forming dark brown or black spots. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, East London, and Durban, 300-790 
fathoms. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean, N. and S. Atlantic, Indian Ocean, 
N. Pacific, 400-1590 fathoms. 

Brauer states that the filamentous 1st dorsal ray is movable 
separately from the rest of the fin and can be turned forwards. Other 
authors have not observed this, and I am unable to confirm it. In 
aU the specimens examined by me the 1st ray is attached by membrane 
to the 2nd ray and can neither be moved separately nor turned 
forwards. 



142 Annals of the South African Museum. 



Gen. Melanostomias Brauer. 

1902. Brauer, Zool. Anz., vol. xxv, p. 284. 

1905. Gilbert, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm. for 1903, pt. 2, p. 606 
{Leptost07nias) . 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 53. 
Body elongate, compressed, naked. Eye moderate. Mouth 

very large. Teeth on jaws, large, depressible, bifid ; teeth also on 
vomer, palatine, and tongue. Barbel well developed. Pectoral 
small, without elongate free ray. Ventral long, far behind middle of 
body. Dorsal and anal opposite, far back. No adipose fin. Caudal 
forked. Pseudobranchiae absent. A large suborbital photophore 
and 2 lateral rows. Gill-rakers present (in the Cape species). 
Three other species known from the Indo-Pacific. 



"^Melanostomias niger G. and v. B. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., vii, 
p. 6, pi. ii, fig. 2. 

Depth 7, length of head 7, in length of body. Eye subequal to 
snout, slightly less than interorbital width, 6 in length of head. 
Teeth : 11 in upper jaw, 1st and 3rd small, 2nd and 4th largest, 
5th-7th and 8th-llth increasing in size ; 11 in lower jaw, 1st and 2nd 
small, 3rd larger, 4th-7th and 8th-llth increasing in size ; a single 
series on vomer, 3 widely set teeth on each palatine and 2 pairs on 
tongue. Gill-rakers 12 on anterior arch. D and A ? (the figure 
shows D 10, A 17) ; P 5, short ; V 7, longer than pectoral. Photo- 
phores : a large suborbital, 3 on operculum, and smaller ones on 
head and around orbit between branchiostegals (number 1), 1 at 
end of barbel, 8 on each side of isthmus ; an upper row of 40, 27 from 
pectoral to ventral, 13 from ventral to anal ; a lower row of 54-55, 
30 from pectoral to ventral, 10-11 from ventral to anal, 11 along base 
of anal, 3 on caudal peduncle. Barbel about twice length of head, 
terminating in a rounded luminous organ. 

Length.— 220 mm. 

Colour. — Black. 

Locality. — Off Table Bay, 135 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Very close to melanops Brauer from the Indian Ocean, but differing 
in the teeth, number of photophores, and number of dorsal and anal 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 143 

rays (if the figure is correct). There is apparently no series of small 
fine teeth on the posterior margin of the maxilla in the Cape species, 
as there is in the other species. 



Gen. GoNOSTOMA Raf. 

1810. Rafinesque, Indice d' Ittiol. Sicil., p. 64. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 70 
(account of genus). 

Body elongate, compressed. Skin naked, or occasionally with very 
thin deciduous scales. Photophores longitudinally arranged. Mouth 
large. Teeth unequal, slender ; canines mixed with smaller teeth in 





Fig. 12. — Diagrams of heads of A, Gonostoma, and B, Cyclolhone, 
to show generic differences. 



both jaws ; slender teeth on palatine, pterygoid, and sometimes also 
vomer. Paired fins well developed. Ventrals in middle of body. 
Barbel absent. Dorsal arising above or very slightly behind origin 
of anal ; the latter long, dorsal much shorter. Adipose dorsal fin 
normally present. Caudal forked. Lateral line absent. Gill-rakers 
slender, long. Branchiostegals rather numerous (10-14). Pyloric 
caeca several. Suborbital enlarged, nearly or quite covering the 
whole cheek. 

Distribution. — N. and S. Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. 



Gonostoma grandis Coll. 

1896. Collett, Bull. Soc. Zool. France, vol. xxi, p. 99. 
1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 66 (name only, Cyclothone 
hathyphilum VailL). 

Depth (behind head) nearly 7, length of head 4| in length of body. 



144 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Eye 2 in snout and interorbital width, 9 in length of head. Sub- 
orbital not completely covering cheek. Vomer with one or two slender 
teeth. Skin naked. D 13, A 23 ; both commencing at same level. 
Adipose dorsal present. Branchiostegals 13. Gill-rakers about 16 
on lower part of anterior arch. Photophores very indistinct, 6 near 
mid ventral line between pectoral and pelvic ; a series of about 8 
higher up on flank, commencing near top of operculum, descending 
to base of pectoral, then rising again. Pyloric caeca 5-6. 

Length. — Up to 160 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Brown, the head and belly darker. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 660-800 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Azores. 

The above description is based on two specimens, presumably the 
same ones on which Gilchrist based his record of C. bathyphilum. 
They appear, however, to be nearer to grandis, though it is not im- 
possible that both these forms may be really one and the same species. 
The vomerine teeth are very distinct in both specimens, and the 
photophores extremely difiicult to discern. 



Gen. Cyclothone G. and B. 

1882-3. Goode and Bean, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard, vol. x, 
p. 221. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, pp. 70-77 
(account of genus). 

Extremely similar to and frequently confused with Gonostoma. 
Brauer has endeavoured to separate the numerous species of both 
genera, and I follow his diagnosis here. 

Suborbital not enlarged. Skin usually with large but very thin 
cycloid scales. Teeth in both jaws mostly equal, without canines, 
and often sloping obliquely forwards on the hind part of maxilla. 
Eye very small. Adipose dorsal usually absent. Photophores usually 
feeble or even obsolete. 

A further character might perhaps be drawn from the upper profile 
of the head, which seems to be convex in Gonostoma and concave 
(especially above snout) in Cyclothone. 

Distribution. — N. and S. Atlantic, Indo-Pacific, Antarctic seas. 

The fishes of this genus, mostly small (under 1 foot) in size, are 
amongst the most numerous deep-sea fishes which are brought to 
light by exploring vessels. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 145 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Photophores present. 

A. Colour pale. Skin naked ....... signata. 

B. Colour dark. Scales present. 

1. Posterior maxillary teeth unequal. Vent nearer ventrals than anal. 

a. Vent immediately behind ventrals. Caudal glands well 

developed ....... livida. 

b. Vent a little way behind ventrals. Caudal glands obsolete 

microdon. 

2. Posterior maxillary teeth all equal. Vent midway between ventrals 

and anal ....... acclinidens. 

II. Photophores obsolete ........ ohscura. 

^Cyclothone signata, Garman. 

1899. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxiv, p. 246, pi. i, fig. 3. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 78, 
pi. vi, fig. 6, text-figs. 28, 29. 

Depth of body 6|-, length of head 4^^, in length of body. Eye 2 
in snout and interorbital width, about 11 in length of head. Skin 
naked. D 13-14, A 19-20, Pectoral reaching almost to ventral. 
Vent close behind ventrals. Teeth on hinder part of maxilla rather 
unequal and oblique ; no teeth on vomer. Branchiostegals 12-13. 
Pyloric caeca 3. Photophores well developed : 2 spots on operculum, 
9-10 at bases of branchiostegals, an upper series of 7 from above 
pectoral to ventral, a lower series of 13 between isthmus and ventrals, 
4 from these to anal, 13 along base of anal to caudal. No glandular 
tissue at bases of anterior (dorsal and ventral) caudal rays. 

Length. — Up to 280 mm. 

Colour. — Pale, whitish, with black specks scattered over body ; 
according to Garman with red and blue tints on belly. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point and South of Agulhas Bank, 300-1500 
fathoms. 

Distribution. — E. side of Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Panama, 
S. Pacific. 

Brauer describes {loc. cit., p. 80, text-fig. 30) a variety, alba, occurring 
with the typical form, from which it is distinguished by having 
4 pyloric caeca and slightly fewer photophores. 

*Cyclothone livida Brauer. 

1902. Brauer, Zool. Anz., vol. xxv, p. 279. 

1906. Id., loc. cit., p. 80, pi. vi, fig. 5, text-fig. 31. 

Depth of body 6|, length of head 4|, in length of body. Eye 2 in 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 10 



146 Annals of the South African Museum. 

snout and interorbital width, 11 in length of head. Scales large : 
l.tr. about 6. D 13-15, A 16-18. Pectoral not reaching ventral. 
Vent immediately behind ventrals. Teeth unequal, not very oblique 
on hinder part of maxilla ; 5-6 teeth on vomer. Branchiostegals 
13-14. Pyloric caeca 3. Photophores distinct : 10 spots at bases of 
branchiostegals, an upper series of 7 + 1, a lower series of 13 between 
isthmus and ventrals, 5 from these to anal, and thence 14-15 to caudal. 
A patch of whitish glandular tissue at bases of anterior caudal rays. 

Length. — Up to 390 mm. 

Colour. — Velvety black. 

Locality.— 0& Great Fish Bay (16° 24' S., 11° 8' E.), 1100 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Eastern Atlantic from Canary Islands southwards 
as far as the above locality, 300-2000 fathoms. 

"^Cyclothone microdon (Gnthr.). 

1878. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., p. 187. 

1887. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 175. 

1888. Vaillant, Exp. Sci. Travailleur et Talisman. Poissons, p. 99, 
pi. viii, fig. 2 {Neostoma quadrioculatum) . 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 82, 
pi. vi, fig. 4, text-fig. 32. 

1916. Regan, Brit. Antarc. Exp. Zool., vol. i, pt. 4, p. 137, pi. v, 
fig. 5 (young) (synonymy). 

Depth of body 7-8, length of head 5, in length of body. Eye 2-3 
in snout and interorbital width, 12 in length of head. Scales large : 
l.tr. 4. D 13-14, A 19. Pectoral not nearly reaching ventral. 
Vent a little way behind ventrals. Teeth unequal, oblique ; 4-5 
on vomer. Branchiostegals 12-13. Pyloric caeca 3. Photophores 
moderately distinct : 9-10 at bases of branchiostegals, an upper 
series of .7+1, a lower series of 13 from isthmus to ventrals, 5 from 
ventrals to anal, thence 14-15 to caudal. Caudal glandular patches 
very indistinct. 

Length. — Up to 60 mm. 

Colour. — Dark brown ; blackish on belly. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point and Agulhas Bank, 1000-1500 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Arctic, Atlantic, Indo-Pacific, and Antarctic seas, 
450-2900 fathoms. 

A variety, described by Brauer as var. pallida {loc. cit., p. 84, pi. vi, 
fig. 2, text-fig. 33) dift'ers from the typical form mainly in being paler 
and having an unpigmented area in front of the dorsal and on belly 



A Monograjph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 147 

between ventrals and anal. (See also 1911, Zugmayer, Res. Camp. 
Sci. Monaco, fasc. 35, p. 44, pi. ii, fig. 3.) 

Cyclothone acclinidens Garman. 

1899. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxiv, p. 247, pi. i, fig. 4. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 85, 
pi. vi, fig. 1, text-fig. 34. 

Depth of body 7, length of head 4|— 5, in length of body. Eye 1\ 
in snout and interorbital width, 10 in length of head. Scales large : 
l.tr. 4-5. D 13-14, A 18-20. Pectoral not reaching ventrals. 
Vent midway between ventrals and anal. Teeth increasing in size 
posteriorly on maxilla, on hinder part very oblique ; 4-5 on vomer. 
Branchiostegals 14. Pyloric caeca 3. Photophores not very distinct : 
10 at bases of branchiostegals, an upper series of 7-8+2, a lower series 
of 13-14 from isthmus to ventrals, 4 from ventrals to anal, thence 
14-16 to caudal. Caudal glandular patches very distinct, extending 
to the ends of dorsal and anal respectively. 

Length. — Up to 420 mm. 

Colour. — Brown ; belly blackish. 

Locality. — Of? Cape Point, 660-1000 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Middle and South Atlantic, Indo-Pacific, 100-2200 
fathoms. 

Some small specimens, not exceeding 70 mm. in length, seem to 
belong to this species, whose nearest recorded locality has hitherto 
been 28° 28' S., 6° 13' E. 

'^'Cyclothone obscura Brauer. 

1902. Brauer, Zool. Anzeiger, vol. xxv, p. 280. 

1906. Id., Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 88, 
pi. vi, fig. 3, text-fig. 35. 

Depth of body 6|-7|, length of head 4J, in length of body. Eye 
3-4 in snout and interorbital width, 15-20 in length of head. Scales 
large : l.tr. 5-6. D 13-15, A 17-19. Pectoral not reaching ventrals. 
Vent midway between ventrals and anal. Teeth unequal, not very 
oblique ; 5 on vomer. Branchiostegals 13. Pyloric caeca 3. Photo- 
phores obsolete, except a few minute specks at bases of branchio- 
stegals. No caudal glandular patches. 

Length. — Up to 1500 fathoms. 

Colour. — Dark brown or black. 

Locality.— 31° 21' S., 9° 45' E., 1500 fathoms. 



148 An72als of the South African Museum. 

Distrihution. — Tropical and subtropical Atlantic and Indian Oceans, 
400-2000 fathoms. 

Also not actually found within our area, but so near to it that there 
is every probability that its habitat extends into our area. 



Gen. Yarrella G. and B. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 103. 

Body elongate, compressed. Scales large, thin, deciduous. Lateral 
line absent. Photophores arranged longitudinally. Snout pointed. 
Cleft of mouth very wide, lower jaw projecting. Teeth in both jaws 
and on vomer and palatine ; premaxillary and mandibulary teeth in 
a double, maxillary teeth in a single row. Paired fins well developed. 
Dorsal arising in advance of anal, but posterior rays overlapping 
anterior rays of latter. Ventral before middle of body. Caudal 
forked. No adipose fin. Pseudobranchiae absent. Gill-rakers rather 
short. Barbel absent. 

One other species from the N. Atlantic. 

^Yarrella africana G. and v. B. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., vii, 
p. 8, pi. i, fig. 2. 

Depth 6, length of head 4i, in length of body. Eye equal to snout, 
41 in length of head. D 11, A 25, V 8, P 10. Photophores : 9 on 
isthmus, 20 between symphysis and mandible and base of ventral, 
7 between base of ventral and vent, 24 from vent to caudal ; a higher 
row of 18 from above base of pectoral to origin of anal. 

Length. — Up to 180 mm. 

Colour. — ? 

Locality. — Natal coast, 200-240 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Mar. Survey. 

Gen. DiPLOPHOS Gnthr. 

1873. Giinther, Journ. Mus. Godeffroy, vol. ii, p. 101. 

Body very elongate, compressed. Scales large, deciduous. Lateral 
line absent. Photophores arranged longitudinally. Snout pointed. 
Mouth wide. Teeth in both jaws, small and somewhat unequal, 
also on vomer and palatines. Paired fins well developed. Dorsal 
arising in advance of anal, but posterior rays overlapping anterior 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 149 

rays of anal, which is very long. Ventral before middle of body. 
Caudal (probably) forked. No adipose fin. Pseudobranchiae present. 
Gill-rakers long. Barbel absent. 



^Diplophos taenia Gnthr. 

1873. Giinther, he. cit., p. 104. 

1889. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxxi, p. 32, pi. iv, fig. C. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 89, 
text-fig. 36. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 55. 

Depth of body 10-16, length of head 6-7, in length of body. Eye 
equal to interorbital, 1| in snout, 5-6 in length of head. Maxilla 
extending diameter of eye behind eye. D 8-11, A (ca. 43) 55-61. 
Scales : 1.1. 91 ; l.tr. 7. Photophores : 1 suborbital, 3 opercular, 
a row on the branchiostegals, small ones on upper and lower jaws, 
a double row (106-110 in lower, 68-72 in upper row) near ventral 
profile of body, and a single row of 90-93 in the position of the lateral 
line. 

Length. — Up to 59 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish. 

Locality. — Natal Coast, 250 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Tropical and Southern Atlantic and Indian Oceans. 

The " Challenger " specimens were young and were taken at the 
surface at night. It seems open to doubt whether the other species, 
pacificus Gnthr., is not synonymous in view of the variations recorded 
by Brauer. 

Gen. Photichthys Hutton. 

1873. Hutton, Tr. N.Z. Instit., vol. v, p. 55 {Photichthys). 

1887. Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 177. 

Body elongate, compressed. Skin with very thin, deciduous, 
cycloid scales. Photophores arranged longitudinally. Mouth large. 
Teeth slender, more or less equal, a canine on the vomer, teeth also 
on palatine and sometimes pterygoid. Paired fins well developed. 
Ventrals before middle of body. Dorsal short, opposite space between 
ventrals and anal. Adipose dorsal present. Caudal forked. Lateral 
line absent. Gill-rakers long. Branchiostegals numerous. Pseudo- 
branchiae absent. Barbel absent. Air-bladder present. Pyloric 
caeca few. 

Besides the present species, only one other species is known ; 



150 Annals of the South African Museum. 

P. corythaeolus Alcock, from the Indian Ocean, which has the dorsal 
fin ending at the level of the commencement of the anal, and a different 
number of photophores. 



^Photichthys argenteus Hutton. 

1873. Hutton, loc. cit., p. 269, pi. xv, fig. 90. 
1887. Giinther, loc. cit., p. 178, pi. xlv, fig. A. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 104, fig. 122. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 92, 
text-fig. 37. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 55. 

Depth of body 6-6|, length of head 4-4|, in length of body. Eye 
equal to snout and interorbital width, 4-5 in length of head. D 12, 
A 23-26, dorsal ending well before commencement of anal. Branchio- 
stegals 21. Scales : 1.1. ? 50. Photophores : 1 suborbital, 3-4 on 
operculum, a row at bases of branchiostegals, 2 lateral rows, upper 
from operculum to anal, lower from isthmus to caudal containing 
11 from isthmus to pectoral, 14 from pectoral to ventral, 15 from 
ventral to anal, thence 18 to caudal. 

Length. — Up to 305 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, silvery below. 

Locality.— 0^ Cape Point, 290-1000 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Ofi coast of New Zealand. 

Gen. Maurolicus Cocco. 

1838. Cocco, Lett, su Salmoni, p. 32. 

1896. Jordan and Evermann, Fish. N. Amer., vol. i, p. 576. 
1896. Collett, Res. Camp. Sci. Monaco, fasc. 10, p. 129. 

Body elongate, compressed. Skin with very thin, large, deciduous 
scales, with longitudinal rows of photophores which appear as simple 
impressions on the skin, to a certain extent aggregated into groups. 
Mouth very oblique, large. Teeth small, subequal, on both jaws, 
none on vomer or palatine. Maxilla broad, extending to below, but 
not beyond, eye. Paired fins well developed. Ventrals behind 
middle of body. Dorsal opposite space between ventrals and anal. 
Anal long. Adipose dorsal more or less well developed. Barbel 
absent. Lateral line absent. Caudal forked. Branchiostegals not 
numerous (8-9). Gill-rakers long. Air-bladder none. Pseudo- 
branchiae present. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 151 

Maurolicus pennanti (Walb.). 

1792. Walbaumin, Artedi. Pise, p. 47. 

1835. Nilsson, Observ. Zool., p. 9 (borealis). 

1838. Cocco, Lett, su Salmoni, p. 32, pi. iv, fig. 12 {amethystino 
punctatus). 

1871. Klunzinger, Verhl. K. K. Zool. Bot. Ver. Wien., vol. xxi, 
p. 593 (mucronatus). 

1875. Hutton, Tr. N.Z. Instit., vol. vii (1874), p. 250 [australis). 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Icbtliyol., p. 96, fig. 111. 

1896. Jordan and Evermann, loc. cit., p. 577 (references). 

1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 66 (name only : amethystino 
punctatus). 

Depth of body 4-4^, length of head 3|, in length of body. Eye 1| 
times larger than snout, twice interorbital width, 2^2f in length of 
head. D 10, A 10 + 15. Photophores : a suborbital, 3 on oper- 
culum, a pair on chin at symphysis, 6 at bases of anterior branchio- 
stegals, 6 from isthmus to pectoral, a lower row of 12 from (just in 
front of) pectoral to ventral, an upper row of 8-9 from behind pectoral 
to ventral, 5-6 from ventral to vent, 16 along base of anal, 7 from anal 
to caudal. 

Length. — Up to 65 mm. 

Colour. — Brilliant silvery, back dark greenish brown. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 190 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Tristan d'Acunha (South African Museum), N. and 
S. Atlantic, Mediterranean, Japan, New Zealand, Red Sea. 

Frequently found floating dead on surface, or cast up on beach 
after storms. 

Gen. Argyropelecus Cocco. 

1829. Cocco, Giorn. Sci. Sicil., fasc. 77, p. 146. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 101 
(references and account of genus). 

1908. Regan, Tr. Linn. Soc. Zool., vol. xii, pt. 3, p. 218 (key to 
species). 

Body short, strongly compressed, hinder part abruptly narrower. 
Skin naked, with photophores on head and lower side of body and tail. 
Mouth very oblique, large. Teeth minute, on both jaws and palatine, 
those on premaxilla and maxilla in a single series. Pectorals well 
developed. Ventrals very small. 

Bones of the shoulder and hip girdles prolonged into pointed pro- 
cesses projecting outside the body. 



152 Annals of the South African Museum. 

A series of sharply keeled scutes from below pectorals along belly 
to ventrals. Dorsal short, preceded by several neural spines forming 
a triangular bony plate. Anal short, rays divided into 2 groups or the 
fin completely divided into 2 portions. Adipose dorsal rudimentary. 
Caudal forked. Lateral line absent. Gill-rakers very long. Pseudo- 
branchiae present. Branchiostegals 9. Air-bladder present. Pyloric 
caeca few (4). Eyes directed upwards, very close together, the inter- 
orbital space very narrow, the supraoccipital ridges almost contiguous. 

A small genus of widely distributed species. They are bathypelagic, 
but in all probability frequently ascend to or near the surface at night. 
The elongation of the eyes in a vertical direction, so that they gaze 
upwards instead of sidewards or forwards, forms a noticeable char- 
acter separating them from the allied genera Sternoptyx and Polyipnus. 

The photophores are remarkably constant in position and number. 
There are always (in the adult) 50, arranged as follows : 1 pre- 
orbital, 1 postorbital on the operculum, 2 near lower margin of oper- 
culum, 6 on the branchiostegal membranes, 6 along isthmus, followed 
by 12 along ventral keel, 2 above base of pectoral, and 20 from pec- 
toral to caudal ; the latter row is divided (except in affinis) into groups 
of 6 from pectoral to ventral, 4 pre-anal, 6 supra-anal, and 4 caudal. 

Young stages are described in Brauer's work. There is considerable 
variation in the proportions of the body according to age. 

Key to the Sotith African species. 

1. Photophores in a continuous series ...... affinis. 

2. Photophores between ventrals and caudal in 3 groups. 

a. Preoperculum with 1 spine. D 9 . . . . . . olfersi. 

b. Preoperculum with 2 spines. D 7-8 .... hemigymnus. 

'^Argyropelecus affinis Garman. 

1899. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xxiv, p. 237. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 103, 
pi. vii, figs. 1, 2, text-figs. 43, 44. 

Depth of body 2^, length of head 3|, in length of body. Hinder 
part of body not very abruptly narrower, its greatest depth 1| in 
greatest depth of fore part of body. Eye larger than snout, 2^- 
2\ in length of head. Dorsal and ventral ridges not serrated, no 
spines on lower surface of tail. One spine on post-temporal, 1 at 
angle of preoperculum, 1 at end of isthmus, and 2 at end of ventral 
keel. D VII -(-9, A 13 (7-f 6). Photophores from the ventrals to the 
caudal in a continuous series. (Plate VIII, fig. 1.) 



A Monogra'ph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 153 

Length.- — Up to 45-5 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, blackish along back, eyes with metallic sheen. 

Locality.— 0^ south-west coast of Africa (31° S., 8° E.), 1000 fathoms. 

Distribution. — West Indies, Gulf of Guinea, Indian Ocean, 500- 
1250 fathoms. 

This species is almost certain, sooner or later, to be captured within 
our limits, and is therefore included for the sake of comparison. 

Argyropelecics olfersi (Cuv.). 

1829. Cuvier, Regne Anim., 2nd ed., p. 316, pi. xiii, fig. 2. 

1896. Collett, Res. Camp. Sci. Monaco, fasc. 10, p. 127, pi. iii, 
fig. 14. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 108, 
text-fig. 46. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 72 (references). 

Depth of body IJ-lf , length of head about 3, in length of body. 
Hinder part of body very abruptly narrower, its greatest depth about 
twice in greatest depth of fore part of body. Eye greater than snout, 
2^3 in length of head. Dorsal and ventral ridges not serrated, no 
spines on lower surface of tail. One spine on post-temporal, 1 at 
angle of preoperculum, 1 at end of isthmus, and 2 at end of ventral 
keel. D VII -j-9, A 12 (7+5). Photophores from ventrals to caudal 
in three groups, pre-anal (4), supra-anal (6), and caudal (4). 

Length.— JJ-p to 99 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, back blackish, eyes with metallic sheen. 

Locality.— OS. Cape Point, 460 fathoms. 

Distribution. — North and South Atlantic, Indo-Pacific. 

Argyropelecus hemigymnus, Cocco. 

1829. Cocco, in Giorn. Sci. Sicil., fasc. 77, p. 146. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 106, 
text-fig. 45. 

1913. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. i, p. 66 (name only). 

Depth of body lf-2, length of head about 3, in length of body. 
Hinder part of body very abruptly narrower, its greatest depth 2| 
in greatest depth of fore part of body. Eye rather greater than snout, 
about 3 in length of head. Dorsal and ventral ridges not serrated, 
no spines on lower surface of tail. One spine on post-temporal, 2 
at angle of preoperculum, 1 at end of isthmus, and 1 at end of 
ventral keel, the last mentioned one projecting backwards and 



154 Annals of the South African Museum. 

finely and variably denticulate both on its upper and lower edges. 
D VII +7-8, A 11 (6+5). Photophores from ventrals to caudal in 
three groups as in olfersi. 

Length. — Up to 40 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, back blackish, eyes with metallic sheen. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point, 156-630 fathoms. 

Distribution. — North and South Atlantic, Mediterranean, Indian 
Ocean. 

This species seems to be commoner in these waters than olfersi, 
judging from the relative numbers of specimens taken by the s.s. 
" Pieter Faure." 

Gen. Sterxoptyx Herm. 

1781. Hermann, Der Naturforscher., vol. xvi, p. 8. 

1887. Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 168. 

Body short, strongly compressed, hinder part abruptly narrower. 
Skin naked, with photophores on head and lower side of body and tail. 
Mouth very oblique, large. Teeth minute, in several series on both 
jaws, the largest in the inner row ; none on vomer or palatine. Pec- 
torals well developed. Ventrals very small. Bones of the shoulder 
and hip girdles prolonged into pointed processes projecting outside 
the body. A series of sharply keeled scutes along belly to ventrals. 
A transparent membrane, on which anal fin is situated, between ven- 
trals and base of caudal peduncle. Dorsal short, preceded by a tri- 
angular bony plate. Anal rather long, undivided. Adipose dorsal more 
or less developed. Caudal forked. Lateral line absent. Gill-rakers 
long on upper, but rudimentary on lower, part of arch. Pseudo- 
branchiae present. Branchiostegals 5. Air-bladder present. Eyes 
lateral, the supraorbital and occipital ridges well separated. 

Only a single species known. 

Sternoptyx diaphana Herm. 

1781. Hermann, lac. cit., p. 8, pi. i, figs. 1, 2. 

1887. Gunther, loc. cit., p. 169, pi. xlv, figs. D, Di. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 115, 
text-figs. 56-63. 

1911. Zugmayer, Res. Camp. Sci. Monaco, fasc. 35, p. 54, pi. ii, 
fig. 5. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., vii, 
P-9. 

Proportions of body variable. Depth of body nearly or quite equal 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 155 

to length, length of head about 2§. Eye variable, about 2 in length 
of head, much larger than snout. D I +9-12, A 12-14. Photophores : 
1 postorbital, 2 near lower margin of operculum, a group on branchio- 
stegal membrane, 5 on isthmus, followed by 10 along ventral keel, 
3 above pectoral, 3 pre-anal, 3 + 1 supra-anal, and 4 caudal. 

Length. — Up to 50 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, back blackish. 

Locality.— 0& Cape Point, 312-1014 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Atlantic and Indo-Pacific (but not in high latitudes), 
surface to 2500 fathoms. Probably rises to the surface at night. 

Gen. PoLYiPNUS Gnthr. 

1887. Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 170. 

1899. Alcock, Ind. Deep-Sea Fish., p. 137. 

Body short, strongly compressed, hinder part not abruptly narrower. 
Skin with large, extremely thin and deciduous scales ; photophores 
strongly developed. Mouth vertical, large. Teeth minute in several 
series in both jaws, and on vomer, none on palatine. Eye lateral, 
supraorbital and occipital ridges well separated. Pectorals and 
ventrals weU developed. Bones of pectoral and pelvic girdles pro- 
jecting, but not prominently ; a striated and denticulated fan-shaped 
bony process below base of pectoral. A series of sharply keeled scutes 
along belly. A strong spine on each post-temporal, being a continua- 
tion of the occipital ridge. Dorsal moderate, preceded by a small 
bifurcate spine. Anal moderate, undivided. Adipose dorsal present. 
Caudal forked. Lateral line absent. Gill-rakers long, Branchiostegals 
9-10. Pseudobranchiae present. Air-bladder present. 

This genus is confined to the warmer parts of the Atlantic and 
Indo-Pacific, and Southern Australia. Several species have been 
described, but it is probable that most of them are varieties of spinosus. 

Polyipnus spinosus Gnthr. 

1887. Giinther, loc. cit., p. 170, pi. li, fig. B. 

1904. Jordan and Starks, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm. for 1902, p. 581, 
pi. ii, fig. 3 (stercope). 

1905. Gilbert, ibid, for 1903, p. 609, pi. Ixxiii {nuttingi). 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 120, 
pi. vii, fig. 3, text-figs. 64-66. 

1914. McCulloch, Endeavour Res., vol. ii, pt. 3, p. 87, pi. xvi, text- 
fig. 4 (tridentifer) . 



156 Annals of the South African Museum. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fisli. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., vii, 
P- 9. 

Depth of body li-lf. length of head 3. in length of body. Eye 
much larger than snout, which is subequal to interorbital width, 2 
in length of head. D 12-13, A 14-18. Lower edge of mandible 
serrate, ending in a short spine. Lower edge of preoperculum serrate, 
ending in a strong downwardly directed spine. The post-temporal 
spine may be simple or have accessory denticles on its lower edge, 
or may even be trispinate. Photophores : 1 preorbital, 1 on 
operculum behind eye, 2 (1 very large) on the lower margin of oper- 
culum, 6 on branchiostegal membrane, 6 along isthmus, followed 
by 10' along ventral margin, 2 above pectoral, followed by 3, forming 
a 2nd tier on flank, above these a 3rd tier of 2. 5 pre-anal, 11-16 
supra-anal, and 4 caudal. (Plate YIII, fig. 2.) 

Length. — Up to 93 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, back black, with a descending patch below the 
post-temporal spine, all the photophores outlined in black. 

Locality. — Off Cape Morgan and Xatal coast, 174-306 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Tropical and stibtropical Atlantic and Indo-Pacific, 
Southern Australia, 150-650 fathoms. 

Three specimens, up to 60 mm., have been examined. They 
confirm McCulloch"s count of the number of branchiostegal rays, 
namely 9, though one specimen has distinctly 10 on one side. The 
number of pyloric caeca could not be determined owing to defective 
preservation. Gilchrist and von Bonde give a locality record only, 
without any details. 

This species seems to be gregarious. 

Divisiox 2. OSTARIOPHYSI. 

1911. Regan, Ann. Mag. Xat. Hist., (8), vol. ^-iii, pp. 13-32 and 
553-557 (classification). 

Air-bladder, if well developed, communicating with digestive canal 
by a duct, typically divided into anterior and posterior portions by 
a narrow constriction. Fins without spines, or the dorsal and pectoral 
each with a single stout spine. Ventrals abdominal. Pectorals low 
down near ventral profile. Anterior 4 vertebrae strongly modified, 
often co-ossified, and bearing a chain of small bones (Weberian 
ossicles) connecting the internal ear with the air-bladder. Pectoral 
girdle suspended from the skull. Mesocoracoid present (except in 
some Siluridae). Scales cycloid, or replaced by bony plates, or absent. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 157 

In spite of the enormous number of species, of multiform and 
diversified appearance, grouped together in this division, the Ostario- 
physi are one of the most clearly marked and natural groups of 
Bony Fishes. Without exception, they all possess the Weberian 
mechanism, which is briefly described by Eegan (loc. cit., supra), 
and which, by connecting the ear with the air-bladder, has the effect 
of converting the latter into an organ of hearing. 

The vast majority of the fresh- water fishes of the world belong to 
this division, which indeed contains very few marine forms. 

In the following key all the South African families are included, 
but detailed descriptions are given of the marine forms only, the 
fresh- water forms having been described in " The Freshwater Fishes 
of South Africa." 

Two subdivisions are recognised : (1) the Cyprinoidea, including the 
Tiger-fish of South Africa, the Electric Eel of South America, the 
Carp and Tench of Europe, and the Barbel (Geel-visch) of South 
Africa ; (2) the Siluroidea, including the cosmopolitan Cat-fishes 
(barbels) and the South American Loricariidae. 

Key to the South African families . 

I. Head naked, body usually scaly. Branchiostegals 3-5 {Cyprinoidea). 

A. Adipose dorsal usually present. Jaws usually toothed . Characidae. 

( =Characinidae.) F.W.F., p. 335. 

B. Adipose dorsal absent. Jaws toothless . . . Cyprinidae. 

F.W.F., pp. 345, 553. 

II. Body naked or covered with bony plates. Branchiostegals usually numerous 

(Siluroidea) ........( =Siluridae). 

F.W.F., pp. 437, 556. 

A. Dorsal and anal fins long. 

1. Dorsal with a spine . . . . . . Plotosidae. 

2. Dorsal without spine ....... Clariidae. 

F.W.F., p. 438. 

B. Dorsal short, anal long ...... Schilbeidae. 

F.W.F., p. 449. 

C. Dorsal and anal short. 

1. Head and shoulders covered with a bony shield . Synodontidae. 

F.W.F., p. 457. 

2. Head and shoulders not covered with a bony shield. 

a. Nostrils close together ...... Ariidae. 

b. Nostrils far apart. 

i. Head and body depressed . . . Amphiliidae. 

F.W.F., p. 557. 
ii. Head and body not depressed . . . Bagridae. 

F.W.F., p. 452. 



158 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Regan's (1911) arrangement of tlie families of Siluroidea is here 
adopted. Only tlie Ariidae and Plotosidae are marine and estuarine, 
the others being strictly fluviatile. The letters " F.W.F." in the above 
key refer to the page in " The Freshwater Fishes of South Africa," 
where the fluviatile representatives of the various families are described. 
The marine forms retain to a greater extent the more primitive and 
generalised characters, while the fresh-water forms have become 
specialised in various directions. 

Fam. 1. Ariidae. 

Body moderately naked. Gill-membranes united, forming a trans- 
verse fold across the isthmus. Dorsal short, with a spine. Adipose 
dorsal present. Anal short. Pectoral with a spine. Ventral 6- 
rayed. Mouth terminal or subterminal. Teeth in both jaws, and 
often on palate. Nostrils close together, without barbel. One pair 
maxillary and 1-2 pairs mandibular barbels. Mesocoracoid absent. 

Littoral and estuarine fishes of the tropical and subtropical regions. 
A few have become permanently fluviatile. 

It has been observed in the case of some species of this family that 
the males hatch out the eggs in their mouths. This habit is probably 
characteristic of all the species in the family. Further details are 
given below. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Palatal teeth in one or two oval or subtriangular groups, on either side of the 

middle line .......... Arius. 

2. Palatal teeth forming a crescentic band continuous across the middle line 

Galeicktkys. 

The Madagascan genus Ancharius Stndr. is distinguished by having 
no teeth on the palate. 

Gen. Arius C. and V. 

1840. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xv, p. 53. 

Body "feebly compressed. Occiput and nape bony, not covered 
by skin ; dorsal and pectoral spines also naked. The united gill- 
membranes forming a very open angle. Adipose dorsal fin small. 
Dorsal with 6-7 rays. Nostrils close together, the posterior one with 
a valve. One maxillary pair and 2 pairs mandibular barbels. Upper 
lip projecting slightly over mouth. Eyes lateral, with free borders. 
Bands of teeth in jaws, and on pterygoids, the teeth on the latter 
villiform or granular, in one or two oval or subtriangular groups on 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 159 

either side of the middle line (these teeth have been called by some 
authors vomerine and palatine, but they are borne by the pterygoid 
bones according to Boulenger). Branchiostegals 5-6. 

Tropical seas. Mostly marine and estuarine, but a few apparently 
strictly fresh water. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Eye 6-6 J in length of head. A 13-14 . . . . . dussumieri. 

2. Eye 4 J in length of head. A 17 . . . . . . . kirki. 

Arius kirki Gnthr. is a fresh- water species from the Zambesi, but is 
only known from a mutilated skin in the British Museum. It is 
described on p. 456 of " The Freshwater Fishes of South Africa." 

Arius dussumieri C. and V. 
Dussumier'' s Barbel. 

1840. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xv, p. 84. 

1864. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. v, p. 163. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 467, pi. cvii, fig. 7. 

Depth of body 4|-5, length of head 3|, in length of body. Eye 
2\ in snout, 4 in interorbital width, and 6-6|^ in length of head. Head 
smooth above anteriorly, the occipital and nuchal shield granulate. 
Premaxillary band of teeth 4-5 times as wide as long ; palatal teeth 
granular, in two groups on each side, the anterior small, oval, widely 
separated from its fellow, and narrowly from the posterior group, 
which is elongate triangular, 3 times as long as wide, and extending 
back almost to the dorsal edge of the 1st gill-slit. Maxillary barbel 
reaching to basal ^ of pectoral spine, mandibular barbels shorter. 
Gill-rakers, 9-10 on lower part of anterior arch. D I 7. Spine a 
little longer than distance between anterior margin of eye and hind 
edge of operculum, feebly serrate in front and behind. Pectoral 
spine equal to length of dorsal and similarly serrate on both edges. 
A 13-16 (10-11 branched rays). Caudal lobes pointed. 

Length. — Up to 550 mm. 

Colour. — Slaty brown, lighter below. 

Locality. — Delagoa Bay, Chinde, estuaries of rivers. 

Distribution. — Coasts of India and Ceylon. 

Day [loc. cit., p. 456) recounts that he found 15-20 eggs, measuring 
0-5-0-6 inch in diameter, and in different stages of development, in the 
mouth of the male Arius. Other observers have noted the same 
method of protecting the eggs and embryos ; thus Pellegrin (Mem. 



160 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Soc. Sci. Nat. Maroc, vol. i, pt. 2, p. 44, fig. 25, 1921) records it for 
Arius jissus. Therefore, although it has not been actually recorded 
for the present species, it is probable that this species has similar 
habits. Day found also that the ventral fins of the female were 
larger than those of the male, and might form, he conjectured, a 
receptacle for the eggs while they were being fertilised, before being 
taken into the mouth of the male. 

Like all the barbels with strong dorsal and pectoral spines, these 
fish should be handled with care. 

Gen. Galeichthys C. and V. 

1840. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xv, p. 28. 

Body feebly compressed. Head and nape, and the dorsal and 
pectoral spines, entirely covered with soft skin. The united gill- 
membranes forming a very open angle. Adipose dorsal fin moder- 
ately large. Dorsal with 7 rays. Nostrils close together, the pos- 
terior one with a valve. One maxillary pair and 2 pairs mandibular 
barbels. Upper lip projecting slightly over mouth. Eyes lateral, 
with free borders. Bands of villiform teeth in jaws, and on vomer 
and pterygoid, the palatal teeth forming a single crescentic band 
continuous across the middle line. 

A South African genus. Marine, but often entering the estuaries 
of rivers. 

Three species have been described : feliceps C. and V., 1840 ; ater 
Castln., 1861 ; and ocellatus G. and T., 1916. But evidence is given 
below that these are all one form and should be united under the name 
feliceps. 

Galeichthys feliceps C. and V. 

White or Red Barger, Bagger, or Barbel. 

1840. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xv, p. 29, 
pi. cdxxiv (feliceps). 

1849. Smith, Illustr. Zool. S. Afr., pi. viii. 

1911. Boulenger, F.W. Fish. Afr., vol. ii, p. 381, fig. 295. 

1914. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, pp. 82, 88, 104 (biology). 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 74 (references). 

Black Bagger. 

1861. Castelnau, Poiss. Afr. Austr., p. 62 [ater). 
1911. Boulenger, loc. cit., p. 382, fig. 296. 
1916. Thompson, loc. cit., p. 74. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 161 

Ocellate Bagger. 

1916. Gilclirist and Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. iii, p. 60, fig. 
(ocellatus). 

Depth of body 3|-4|, length of head 3^4, in length of body. Eye 
2J in snout, 3^-4 in interorbital width, and 6-7 in length of head 
(proportionally larger in young). Premaxillary band of teeth 4-5 
(cj) or 6 (?) times as wide as long, longer than the palatal band. 
Maxillary barbel reaching basal ^ of pectoral spine ((?), or of operculum 
(?) ; mandibular barbels shorter. Gill-rakers 9-11 (cj), 7-8 (?) on 
lower part of anterior arch. D I-f 7, spine |-f length of head, very 
feebly serrated in front, especially in $. Adipose dorsal l^lf as 
long as base of dorsal, l|-2 times in its distance from latter. A 17-19, 
11-13_ branched rays. Pectoral spine subequal to dorsal spine, but 
stouter, feebly serrated on front edge. Caudal peduncle, 2-2 J {^), 
1-| (?), times as long as deep. Caudal lobes long and narrowly rounded 
in ($, short and broadly rounded in ?, the upper longer than lower. 
(Plate VIII, fig. 3.) 

Length. — Up to 420 mm. 

Colour.—^ brownish above, with slaty or bronzy-green sheen, 
sides grey or yellowish, belly light, fins grey, often with a pinky tinge, 
all the fins except the adipose dorsal darker at their extremities ; 
$ much darker all over, almost black, belly light, fins blackest ; young 
are frequently more or less mottled along the sides ; iris orange 
to red. 

Locality. — Walfish Bay round the coast to Natal, 0-33 fathoms. 
Marine, but frequently entering estuaries. 

Type of ocellatus (?) lost. 

As regards Gilchrist and Thompson's species ocellatus, founded on 
a single specimen from Zwartkops River, there is no distinguishing 
character which does not fall within the limits of variation of feliceps 
except the number of the fin rays and the colour pattern. The former 
is given as 13 (10 branched) and even this character may be regarded 
as an individual variation (if the count is correct). The colour pattern 
is, I believe, only a variation of the mottled pattern frequently seen 
on young specimens. 

I have come to the conclusion that there is but a single species of 
Bagger, the reasons for this conclusion being as follows : — 

The most prominent differences between the White (Red) and the 
Black Bagger are the shorter and deeper caudal peduncle and the 
wider band of premaxillary teeth in the latter. These differences 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 11 



162 Annals of the South African Museum. 

are quite constant and enable one at a glance, without reference to 
colour or any other correlated character, to separate the White from 
the Black. But on dissection of the specimens in the South African 
Museum it was found that all the White Baggers were males and all 
the Black females. 

This fact, together with the fact that only the male carries the eggs 
in its mouth, explains the following observation quoted from Gil- 
christ (Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. ii, 1914, p. 88) : " The fishermen have 
observed that the Red barger sheds its eggs when placed in the boat, 
but have never observed this of the Black Barger." A further 
statement in the same Report {loc. cit., p. 104), namely : " A Black 
Barbel was on one occasion brought to the aquarium with the eggs, 
which it had ejected from its mouth, but it would not again take them," 
may be cited as confirmatory evidence. If the view here adopted is- 
correct, this specimen, being a Black Bagger, was a female and 
naturally would not take the eggs into her mouth. And it should 
be noted that there is no proof that the eggs had been ejected by that 
particular specimen, other than the statement of the person who 
brought them to the aquarium, probably some fisherman or youngster. 

On the other hand, Gilchrist has recorded an instance of a Black 
Barger having " numerous eggs in its mouth though of a smaller size 
than those of the White Barger " (Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, 1916, p. 19). 
If this specimen was identified solely by the colour, which may well 
be a rather variable feature, it can scarcely be adduced to contradict 
the opinion that there is only one species, which is, indeed, based on 
anatomical evidence. The question, however, is one which requires 
further investigation. 

As stated above, the eggs of this species are received into the mouth 
of the male after fertilisation, and there they remain until the embryos 
are hatched, and even until these latter have absorbed the whole of 
the yolk-sac. Batches of 20-30 have been found in the mouth of one 
male. It is not known whether all the eggs in a batch are laid and 
fertilised at the same time, but if so they certainly develop at different 
rates, because all stages from the simple egg to the already hatched 
embryo are found in one batch. The eggs are about 5-6 mm. in 
diameter, and the embryo, when hatched, is about 35 mm. long. 

The adult in captivity is chiefly nocturnal, hiding by day in dark 
corners. The young, however, appear to be active by day as well. 
They rely mainly on their sense of smell and the very sensitive barbels 
for finding their food, which consists of crabs and dead flesh or offal. 

The Bagger is considered good eating ; the flesh is usually smoked. 



A Monogra'ph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 163 

Care should be exercised in handling these fish when alive, as their 
sharp spines inflict painful wounds. 

Fam. 2. Plotosidae. 

Body elongate, naked. Grill-membranes free or narrowly attached 
to isthmus. Dorsal of two portions, the first (true dorsal) short, 
with a spine, followed by a gap, after which comes a second dorsal, 
long and confluent with caudal. Anal long, confluent with caudal. 
No adipose dorsal. Ventrals 10-16 rayed. Pectoral with a spine. 
Mouth subterminal. Teeth in both jaws, conical, obtuse, or mixed ; 
a patch of molars on the vomer. Nostrils remote from one another, 
the posterior with a barbel. One or two pairs maxillary and 2 pairs 
mandibulary barbels. Mesocoracoid present. 

In most of the genera of this family there is a curious arborescent 
appendage arising from the bottom of a pit behind the vent, the 
function of which is obscure. Its stalk when traced through the skin 
is found to have a tendinous connection with the basal process of the 
last abdominal vertebra, so that apparently it can be retracted. 
Between this appendage and the vent is a conical papilla bearing the 
urinary openings (see Hirota, J. Coll. Sci. Tokyo, vol. vii, p. 367, 1895). 

Marine and estuarine fishes of the Indo-Pacific regions ; some 
species are permanently fluviatile. Detailed observations on their 
breeding habits appear to be lacking. 

Only one genus recorded from South Africa. 

Gen. Plotosus Lacep. 

1803. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, p. 129. 

Body compressed, tapering behind. Head depressed. Whole 
of head and fin spines covered with soft skin. Eye supero-lateral, 
with free borders. Premaxillary teeth numerous. Gill-membranes 
very narrowly united with isthmus, deeply notched. Gill-arches 
without special cartilaginous posterior processes or membranes. 
Ventrals 12-14 rayed. Second dorsal arising above or in advance of 
vertical from ventrals. One pair maxillary barbels. Branchiostegals 
11-13. Arborescent appendage behind vent present. 

Plotosus anguillaris (BL). 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 483, pi. cxii, fig. 4 [arah). 

1911. Boulenger, F.W.Fish. Africa, vol. ii, p. 278, fig. 229 (references). 

1913. Gilchrist and Thompson, F.W. Fish. S. Africa, p. 448, fig. 101. 



164 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Depth of body 6-8, length of head 4|-5 times in length of body. 
Eye 2|^ in snout, 2-^ in interorbital width, and 6-7 in length of head. 
Teeth conical in upper jaw, molariform on vomer, mixed in lower jaw, 
the front ones opposing the upper jaw being conical, the hinder ones 
opposing the vomerines being molariform. Lips strongly papillose. 
Barbels rather short, the nasal reaching to eye, the maxillary to about 
half length of head, outer mandibular subequal to maxillary, inner 
mandibular shorter. Gill-rakers 20-22 on lower part of anterior 
arch. D I 5, spine strong, serrated on both edges, \-\ length of head. 
Second D+C+A, 110-180 (not exceeding 200). Pectoral spine 
similar to but shorter than dorsal spine. 

Length. — Up to 460 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, usually with 2-3 whitish longitudinal stripes on 
each side which tend to disappear in adult ; margins of 2nd dorsal 
and anal darker. 

Locality. — East London and Natal coast. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa, coasts of India and the Western 
Pacific as far north as Japan. Marine and estuarine. 

A large specimen from East London (460 mm.) in no wise differs 
from the above diagnosis except that it has only 12 gill-rakers 
on the lower part (16 on the whole) of the anterior arch. This 
character alone is not sufficient to justify the institution of a 
new species, especially as this particular character is not referred 
to in the descriptions of the various other species which have been 
proposed. 

Small specimens, 150 mm. in length, have well developed ovaries. 
The food consists mainly of crabs. Dangerous wounds are inflicted 
by the dorsal and pectoral spines ; no actual poison is injected, 
but the slime from the fish and the lacerated nature of the wound 
frequently causes festering and delays healing. 

Division 3. HETEROMI. 

Air-bladder without an open duct (physoclystic). Fins with or 
without spines, ventrals abdominal, pectorals not near ventral profile, 
dorsal short or composed of a series of disconnected spines. Tail 
tapering to a point, without, or with greatly reduced caudal fin. 
Operculum well developed. Mouth inferior, snout more or less 
projecting. Pectoral girdle suspended from skull, but from the 
supraoccipital (or epiotic) and not from the post-temporal which 
is small or replaced by a ligament. Parietals meeting in middle 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 165 

line, thus separating frontals from supra-occipital. Mesocoracoid 
absent. 

A small division containing three families of deep-sea fishes, easily 
recognisable by the tapering tail, dorsal fin, and cycloid scales, without 
reference to internal characters. Two families are represented in 
South African waters. The third family Lipogenyidae contains only 
a single species, which has a toothless sucker-like mouth and in the 
character of the dorsal fin is intermediate between the Halosauridae 
and the Notacanthidae, having a short fin composed of both spines 
and rays. 

Key to the South African families. 

1. Dorsal fin short, spineless ....... Halosauridae. 

2. Dorsal composed of a series of disconnected spines . . . Notacanthidae. 



Fam. 1. Halosauridae. 

Body elongate, compressed. Scales cycloid, those of the lateral 
line, which is near the ventral profile, sometimes enlarged and bearing 
photophores ; head scaly. Mouth bordered by premaxilla and 
maxilla, both bearing teeth. Teeth in villiform bands on both jaws, 
palatine, pterygoid, and hyoid. Preoperculum rudimentary. Sub- 
orbitals large. Facial bones with large muciferous canals. Dorsal 
short, composed of soft rays only, above or a little behind ventrals, 
which are composed of 9-10 soft rays. Anal very long, without 
spines. Caudal fin absent. Pseudobranchiae absent. Air-bladder 
large, simple. Gill-rakers short. Branchiostegals about 14. Grill- 
membranes free. 

The species of this family have been separated into three genera. 
The typical genus, Halosaurus Johns., has the scales of the lateral 
line only very slightly enlarged, and the head with narrow interorbital 
width, without lateral ridges. Halosaurichthys Alck. resembles 
Aldrovandia in most respects, but has the ventral fins united. 

According to my observations on A. affinis the formation of the 
palate is rather curious. The palatine bone is small and rudimentary, 
but bears quite a strong band of teeth which occupies a position 
immediately behind the premaxilla. Thus at first sight it appears to 
be the vomer. Dissection, however, shows that the vomer is com- 
pletely hidden underneath the palatine and premaxilla, bears no 
teeth, and takes no part in the formation of the palate. The palatine 
might therefore almost be said to form a secondary palate. 



] 66 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Interorbital width less than eye. Scales of lateral line scarcely larger than the 

others .......... Halosaurus. 

2. Interorbital width at least equal to eye. Scales of lateral line considerably 

enlarged ......... Aldrovandia. 

Gen. Halosaurus Joiins. 

1863. Johnston, Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., p. 406. 

Vertex of head (? and snout) with scales. No lateral ridges on 
head. Interorbital width less than diameter of eye. Ventrals not 
united. Scales of lateral line scarcely larger than the others 
(apparently) without photophores. 

^Halosaurus oweni, Johns. 

1863. Johnston, loc. cit., p. 406, pi. xxxvi, fig. 2. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean Ichthyol., p. 130, fig. 152, 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Kep., 
vii, p. 10. 

Depth of body 6, length of head 31, in length of body to vent. 
Length of head about equal to its distance from ventrals. Eye 2 in 
snout, 5 in length of head. Maxilla not reaching vertical from anterior 
margin of eye. D 11, behind base of ventrals. V 10. Pectoral not 
nearly reaching ventrals. Scales : 1.1. ca. 64 as far as vent (according 
to Goode and Bean's figure). Pyloric caeca 12. 

Length. — Up to 525 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish. 

Locality. — Off Table Bay, 600 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Middle Atlantic, 240-690 fathoms. 

Gen. Aldrovandia. 

*1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 132. 

1896. Collett, Ees. Camp. Sci. Monaco, fasc. 10, p. 143 {Halo- 
sauropsis). 

Snout and vertex of head naked. Lateral ridges above eye well 
developed. Interorbital width at least equal to, usually greater than, 

* The dates given by Roule (Res. Camp. Sci. Monaco, fasc. 52, p. 29, 1919) are : 
July 1896 HaJosauropsis CoUett, and September 1896 Aldrovandia G. and B. 
Goode and Bean's work, however, bears date 1895. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 167 

■eye. Ventrals not united. Scales of lateral line enlarged, each with 
1 photophore, and enclosed in a cutaneous pocket open below, 
"which thus conceals the photophore except when viewed from below. 
Photophores on head below the eye, on the operculum, and on the 
mandible, covered over by thin skin. There are also 3 pairs of small 
luminous organs on the lower surface of the snout. 

Most of the known species of the family belong to this genus. 
The food of these fishes consists of Crustacea and Cuttle-fish, and 
^occasionally also bathypelagic Mollusca. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Pectoral not nearly reaching ventral ...... affinis. 

2. Pectoral reaching ventral ....... macrochir. 



Aldrovandia affinis (Gnthr.). 

1877. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. xx, p. 444. 

1887. Id., Challenger Kep., vol. xxii, p. 241, pi. lix, fig. B. 

1889. Alcock, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., p. 453 {anguilliformis). 

1890. Id., ibid., p. 309 (hoshyni). 

1892. Id., Illustr. Zool. Investigator. Fish., pi. vii, fig. 3 
{hoskyni) . 

1899. Id., Deep-sea Fish. Ind. Mus., p. 184 {anguilliformis). 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 171. 

1913. Jordan, Tanaka, and Snyder, Cat. Fish. Japan, p. 40. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 84. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., vii, 
p. 10. 

Depth of body 6^-7|, length of head 3 in length of body to vent. 
Length of head equal to its distance from ventrals. Eye equal to 
interorbital width, ^\ in snout, 3 in postocular part of head. Snout 
pointed, subequal to postocular part of head, its preoral portion almost 
half its length. Maxilla scarcely reaching level of anterior margin of 
eye. D 12, a little behind origin of ventrals. V 9. Pectoral not 
nearly reaching ventral. Scales : 1.1. as far as vent 28-30. Pyloric 
caeca 8. 

Length. — Up to 525 mm. 

Colour. — Light or dark brown ; the throat, gill-membranes, and often 
the greater part of the head black. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point and Table Bay, 500-1400 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Japan, Indian Ocean, 565-1000 fathoms. 



168 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Though closely allied to the Atlantic species rostratus Gnthr., this 
species seems easily separable by the greater number of scales along 
the lateral line. 

Aldrovandia macrochir (Gnthr.). 

1878. Gunther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 251. 

1881. Gill, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. vi, p. 257 {goodei). 

1887. Gunther, Challenger Eep., vol. xxii, p. 237, pi. lix, fig. A ; 
pi. Ix, figs. 1-8. 

1896. CoUett, Res. Camp. Sci. Monaco, fasc. 10, p. 146, pl. v, 
figs. 23, 23h. 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 170, pl. li {niger). 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. iii, p. 84. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., 
vii, p. 10 {niger). 

Depth of body 5|— 6, length of head 2f in length of body to vent. 
Length of head rather more than its distance from ventrals. Eye 
twice in interorbital width, 4 in snout, and 4 in postocular part of head. 
Snout bluntly pointed, almost equal to postocular part of head, its 
preoral portion 3-3^^ in its length. Maxilla reaching level of anterior 
margin of eye or slightly beyond. D 12-13, a little in advance of 
ventrals. V 9-10. Pectoral reaching almost or quite to ventral. 
Scales : 1.1. as far as vent 27-29. Pyloric caeca 10-11. (Plate VIII, 
fig. 4.) 

Length. — Up to 650 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform black. 

Locality.— 0& Cape Point and Table Bay, 800-1400 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Central and South Atlantic southwards to Marion 
Island, 600-1730 fathoms. 

Type of H. niger in South African Museum. 

Gilchrist's original description is incorrect in certain respects, and 
I have no hesitation in identifying these specimens with Giinther's 
species. 

Fam. 2. NOTACANTHIDAE. 

Body elongate, compressed. Scales cycloid, very small. Lateral 
Line above the middle of the body, at least in anterior part of body. 
Head scaly. Mouth bordered by premaxilla only. Teeth in both 
jaws and on palatine, in a single series on the premaxilla, in a single 
or double row on the mandible and palatine. Preoperculum small. 
Suborbitals none. A sharp backwardly directed spine at end of 



A Monografh of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 169 

maxilla, hidden by a small fold of skin at the angle of the mouth. 
Dorsal composed of a series of disconnected spines. Anal with spines 
and rays. Ventral with 1-5 spines and 7-10 rays. Caudal very 
small, confluent with anal. Pseudobranchiae absent. Air-bladder 
large, simple. Gill-rakers moderately long. Branchiostegals 6-9. 
Gill-membranes partly united. 

This family contains two well-characterised genera, Notacanthus 
and Polyacanthonotus . Goode and Bean in 1895 proposed two other 
genera on rather unsatisfactory grounds ; Gigliolia certainly cannot be 
maintained, as shown by Boulenger in 1903 and confirmed by the 
present author's examination of more abundant material. 

One of the South African species has a double row of teeth on the 
mandible, which conflicts with the diagnosis usually given of this 
family. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Dorsal spines VI-XII. Anal spines XII-XIX . . . Notacanthus. 

2. Dorsal spines XXVII-XXXVIII. Anal spines XL-L, or more Mncdonaldia. 

Gen. Notacanthus Bloch. 

1795. Bloch, Ausl. Fische., vol. xii, p. 114. 

Snout short. Dorsal spines numbering VI-XII, the first above or 
behind level of ventrals. Anal spines XII-XIX. Ventrals normally 
joined by a membrane (which, however, is frequently torn), I-IV 
spines and 6-7 rays. Pectoral arising only a short way behind edge of 
operculum. Premaxillary teeth acicular, close set, more or less slant- 
ing obliquely outwards. Lateral line straight, nearer to dorsal than 
to ventral profile throughout its length. 

As shown by the variation in N . annectens, the genus Gigliolia, 
proposed by Goode and Bean in 1895 for those species in which the 
dorsal commences above instead of in front of the vent, cannot be 
maintained even as a subgenus. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. D VI-VIII. A X-XV. V I-II 6-8 sexspmis. 

2. D IX. A XVI. V IV 7 moseleyi. 

Notacanthus sexspinis Rich. 

Spiny-back. 

1846. Richardson, Voy. Ereb. and Terror. Fish., p. 54, pi. xxxii, 
figs. 4-11. 



170 Annals of the South African Museum. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 163, figs. 192 a, b. 

1887. Giintlier, Challenger Eep., vol. xxii, p. 243, pi. Ix, figs. 9-15 ; 
pi. Ixi, fig. A. 

1903. Boulenger, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. ii, p. 167, pi. xi 
(annectens). 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 84 {atmectens). 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., vii, 
p. 11 (sexspinis). 

Depth of body 3^4, length of head 2§-2f in length of body to vent. 
Snout bluntly pointed. Eye li-lf in snout, 1| in interorbital width, 
and 5^6 in length of head. No labial fold on upper jaw. Lip not 
continuous across chin. Maxilla ending in a sharp spine below middle 
of eye. Teeth 20-28 on premaxilla, 24-28 on lower jaw, on each side ; 
palatine teeth in a single series. D VI-VIII, commencing as a rule 
about midway between ventrals and vent. A X-XV, 150-160 rays. 
V I-II, 6-8 ; ventrals wholly or in part united. Scales : l.tr. 20-25 
between dorsal and lateral line, 35-40 between latter and vent. 
Pyloric caeca 7. 

Length. — Up to 500 mm. 

Colour. — Brown ; mouth, margin of operculum, and soft portion 
of anal fin blackish. 

Locality. — Off Table Bay, Cape Point, and Natal coast, 200-560 
fathoms. 

Distribution. — South Australia and New Zealand. 

Type of annectens in British Museum, cotypes in South African 
Museum. 

I have examined 5 cotypes (topotypes) and 11 other specimens. 
The above description, consequently, differs slightly from Boulenger's 
original description in certain details. It has been found that there 
is a considerable range of variation, especially in the number and 
position of the dorsal spines, fully confirming Boulenger's remarks 
about the inadmissability of the genus Gigliolia. Seven is the usual 
number (c/. Giinther, loc. cit., p. 244) of dorsal spines, and as a rule the 
1st is at a level midway between the ventral and the vent, the 3rd 
spine being above the vent. The last dorsal spine may be above, 
but is usually some little distance in advance of the last anal spine. 
There are usually XI-XII anal spines. 

In view of the great variability of the specimens of annectens and 
sexspinis I feel justified in uniting the two. 

The statement of Gilchrist and von Bonde that the maxillary spine 
is absent in their specimens is most certainly due to the fact that it is 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. Ill 

frequently hidden under the loose skin and is difficult to find without 
opening up this skin. 

Notacanthus moseleyi (G. and B.). 
Moseley's Spiny-back. 

1887. Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 249, pi. Ixi, fig. C 
{bonaparti, non Risso). 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 169, figs. 187, 193. 

Depth of body 3^, length of head 2| in length of body as far as vent. 
Snout bluntly pointed. Eye 1| in snout, 1| in interorbital width, 
and 5^ in length of head. No labial fold on upper jaw. Lip not 
continuous across chin. Maxilla ending in a sharp spine. Teeth 
ca. 24 on premaxilla (on each side) ; in two rows on lower jaw, ca. 20-22 
in each row on each side ; palatine teeth in a double row. D IX, 
commencing at a level midway between ventral and vent. A XVI, 
ca. 100 rays. Last dorsal spine well in advance of last anal spine. 
V IV 7 ; ventrals united. Scales : l.tr. 25 between dorsal and lateral 
line, 45 between latter and vent. Pyloric caeca 5. 

Length. — Up to 500 mm. 

Colour. — Dark brown ; mouth, margin of operculum, pectoral fin, 
and hinder portion of anal fin blackish. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 500 fathoms. 

Distribution: — S.W. coast of South America, 400 fathoms. 

The single specimen seems referable to this species. Giinther states 
that the depth is contained " 2§ " in length to vent, but the figure 
and the measurements given make it S^, which makes the proportions 
between the " Challenger " and the Cape specimens strictly com- 
parable. The only serious difference is the number of ventral spines, 
Giinther giving 1 for his specimen, whereas the present specimen has 
4 very prominent spines. 

Gen. Macdonaldia G. and B. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 171. 

Body very elongate. Snout elongate, but only moderately produced, 
in advance of mouth. Dorsal spines numbering XXVII-XXXVIII, 
short and stout, the first in advance of the pectoral. Anal spines 
XL-L or more, the posterior ones less conspicuously distinct from the 
rays than in Notacanthus. Ventrals more or less united ('" entirely 
separate," Goode and Bean) : 1 spine and 9-10 rays. Pectoral 



172 Annals of the South African Museum. 

arising well behind edge of operculum (at a distance about equal to 
depth of bead through eye). Premaxillary teeth acicular, close set, 
erect, in a single series as are those on lower jaw and palatine. Lateral 
line straight, nearer dorsal than ventral profile throughout its length. 
Mucous pores on snout and along lower jaw very distinct. 

This genus is separated from Polyacanthonotus Bl. by having the 
snout moderately instead of strongly produced, the dorsal spines 
short (less than diameter of eye) and stout, instead of long (greater 
than eye) and flexible, and the lateral line straight instead of curved 
and running from the vent onwards below the middle of the body. 

Goode and Bean's statement (copied by Jordan and Evermann, 
Fish. N. Amer., vol. i, p. 617) that there are teeth on the vomer 
seems to be a mistake, though it is stated that there are vomerine 
teeth in africana. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Dorsal spines 27-30 . . . . . . . . . rostrata. 

2. Dorsal spines 36 . . . . . . . . . . africana. 

Macdonaldia rostrata (Collett). 
Long-snouted Spiny-back. 

1889. Collett, Bull. Soc. Zool. France, vol. xiv, p. 307. 

1894. Goode and Bean, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xvii, p. 467, 
pi. xviii, fig. 2. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 171, figs. 189, 195. 

1896. Collett, Res. Camp. Sci. Monaco, fasc. 10, p. 48, pi. v, fig. 21. 
1919. Roule, ibid., fasc. 52, p. 29. 

Depth of body (by vent) 3|-4|, length of head 2i, in length of body 
to vent. Snout 3 in length of head. Eye 2 J in snout, subequal to 
interorbital width and 6^ in length of head. Lip not continuous 
across chin. Teeth ca. 22 (on each side) on both premaxilla and 
mandible, in a single series as on the palatine. D XXVII-XXX, 
commencing in advance of pectoral, last one very small and contained 
in the membrane of the skin. A XLII-LIII, passing gradually into 
the soft rays. V I 7 (9 Collett) ; the spine feeble ; ventrals united 
in their basal half. Pyloric caeca 3. (Plate VIII, fig. 5.) 

Length. — Up to 425 mm. 

Colour. — -Brown ; mouth, margin of operculum, and soft anal 
blackish. 

Locality.— 0& Cape Point, 900-1000 fathoms. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 173 

Distribution. — N. and Middle Atlantic, 650-963 fathoms. 

Tlie present specimen, 330 mm. long, undoubtedly belongs to this 
species, the only difference being the fewer rays in the ventral and the 
fact that the ventrals are united in their basal half instead of being 
quite separate. It has D XXX, the last spine being minute. The 
greater depth of Collett's specimen is due to its being a female. 

The food consists of Crustacea and Cuttle-fish. 

* Macdonaldia africana G. and v. B. 
Cape Spiny-hack. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., vii, 
p. 11, pi. iii, fig. 1. 

Depth of body 4, length of head 2f , in length of body to vent. 
Snout 3 in length of head. Eye 2| in snout, 1\ in length of head. 
Lips (?). Teeth minute, on jaws, vomer, and palatine. D XXXVI, 
commencing above middle of pectoral. A XLVII, passing into the 
soft rays. V I 9 ; ventrals not confluent at base. 

Length. — 395 mm. 

Colour. — Presumably brown. 

Locality.— OQ Table Bay, 1220 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Division 4. ABODES. 

1912. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. x, p. 377 (classification). 

Air-bladder, if present, communicating with the digestive canal by 
a duct. Fins without spines, ventrals absent, the vertical fins, 
when present, confluent behind, or separated by the projecting tip 
of the tail. Operculum bones small, frequently reduced, always 
hidden under the skin. Gill-openings small or minute. Pectoral 
girdle, if present, not connected with skull ; mesocoracoid absent. 
Premaxilla absent ; maxilla, when present, separated in the front 
median line by the coalesced ethmoid and vomer. Palato-pterygoid 
often reduced or absent. Parietals meeting in middle line. Body 
naked or with minute rudimentary scales embedded in the skin 
obliquely in groups at right angles to one another. 

The Eels are one of the most easily recognisable divisions of fishes, 
their chief characters being the elongate snake-like body, the absence 
or supposed absence of scales, and the absence of the ventral fins. 
The degeneration of some of the bones of the mouth is noteworthy. 



174 AjiJials of the South African Museum. 

Eels are cosmopolitan ; some are exclusively marine, both shallow 
and deep water, others partly marine and partly fresh water. The 
mystery concerning the breeding of the common European Eel 
remained unsolved for many centuries, and it is only within the last 
few years that the full details have become known. The unravelling 
of the life-history of the Eel forms one of the most fascinating chapters 
in scientific research. An account of the life-history is given below. 

Other eel-like forms which are grouped near the Apodes are the 
Symhranchii and Lyomeri. The former are small, partly fresh-water, 
forms from tropical and subtropical Asia, Australia, and America, 
distinguished from the Muraenoids by the small mouth and non- 
tubular nostrils. The Lyomeri or Gulpers are deep-sea Atlantic 
fishes, remarkable for the enormous gape of the mouth. 

Key to the South African families . 

I. Large interbranchial slits. Tongue usually free. Opercular bones well 
developed. (Anguilloid series.) 

A. With scales (except Gymnosimenchelys, Japan). 

1. Lower jaw projecting beyond upper . . . Anguillidae. 

2. Lower jaw not projecting beyond upper. 

a. Mouth transverse, snout very blunt . Simencheliidae. 

b. Mouth with lateral cleft. Snout conical. 

i. Suspensorium vertical. Cleft of mouth not far beliind eye 

Ilyophidae. 

ii. Suspensorium sloping obliquely backwards. Cleft of 

mouth usually far behind ej^e . Synaphohranchidae.. 

B. Without scales. 

1. Dorsal and anal confluent around tail. 

a. Jaws not attenuate (though snout sometimes produced). 

i. Jaws without strong canines in front. 

a. Eye large ..... Congridae. 

fi. Eye small ..... Dysommidae. 
ii. Jaws and vomer with strong canines in front 

Muraenesocidae. 

b. Jaws very attenuate ..... N emichthyidae. 

2. Dorsal and anal not confluent, tail projecting . Ophichfhyidae. 
IL Small interbranchial slits. Tongue absent. Opercular bones reduced 

(Muraenoid series). Gill-slits lateral, small, roundish. Pectorals absent 

lluraenoidei. 

Anguilloid Series (Platyschistae). 

The internal branchial openings into the guUet are wide slits. The 
tongue is either free or partly or wholly adnate to the floor of the 
mouth. The opercular bones are well developed. Maxillae present. 



A Monoc/raph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 175 

Fam. 1. Anguillidae. 
True Eels. 

Body moderately compressed. Snout conical. Cleft of moutk 
moderately large. Lower jaw projecting. Scales present. Tongue 
free. Gill-slits well separated, lateral, and vertical. Lateral line well 
developed. Teeth small, in bands in both jaws, and on the vomer. 
Nostrils superior, well separated, anterior one slightly tubular. 
Vent far from head. Rays of ventral fins embedded in thick skin. 
Dorsal commencing far behind head, confluent with anal. Pectorals 
well developed. Palato-pterygoid present. Frontal bones paired. 

A single genus, which is cosmopolitan in temperate and tropical 
regions. All the species spend the greater part of their lives in fresh 
water, but descend to the sea to breed. They are thus said to be 
" catadromous," i.e. running down stream to the sea for the purpose 
of spawning (contrast the " anadromous " Salmon). 

Gen. Anguilla Shaw. 

1804. Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. iv, p. 15. 

With the characters of the family. 

Although the South African species of True Eels have been 
described and figured in " The Freshwater Fishes of South Africa," it 
is necessary to give descriptions of them again here as they spend a 
portion of their lives in the sea, and also for the sake of completeness. 

Their biology is dealt with after the description of A. australis. 

Key to the South African species. 

1 Dorsal commencing about midway between pectoral and vent. 

a. Teeth on sides of jaws in 3 (young) to G series, without any intervening 

longitudinal interspace ...... mossamhica. 

b. Teeth on sides of jaws in a double series, with intervening groove 

bengalensis. 
2. Dorsal commencing only slightly in advance of vent . . australis. 

Anguilla mossamhica (Peters). 
The Cape or Mozambique Eel. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Freshwater Fish. S. Afr., p. 466, 
figs. Ilia, 112 (references). 

Distance from end of snout to gill-slit 2J-3| in distance from end of 



176 Annals of the South African Museum. 

snout to vent. Mouth extending to below or slightly beyond posterior 
margin of eye. Tail much longer than body. Dorsal commencing 
well in advance of vent, about midway between pectoral and vent. 
Teeth in jaws in moderately broad bands of 3-6 series, slightly tapering 
behind ; vomerine teeth in a similar band narrowing behind. 

Length. — Up to 1120 mm. 

Colour. — Olive green or brown above, yellowish or whitish beneath. 

Locality. — Rivers of Transvaal, Zululand, Natal, and Cape Province. 

Distribution. — East Africa to India and Southern Pacific (but not 
Australasia). 

I have examined the specimens referred by Gilchrist and Thompson 
to this species (except those from Isipingo, Natal, which are not in the 
South African Museum) and have come to the conclusion that they 
really belong to bengalensis. On the other hand, the Orange River 
specimen referred to bengalensis is undoubtedly mossambica. It 
should be stated, however, that the specific distinction of these two 
species is often obscure, and quite possibly only one species should 
really be recognised. 

The Orange River specimen was the subject of some remarks by 
Dr. Kannemeyer in the Proc. S. Afr. Philos. Soc, 26th June 1895. It 
was caught at the junction of the Orange and Caledon Rivers, N.E. of 
Burghersdorp, and seemed to disprove the then prevalent idea that 
eels were only found in rivers flowing " zon op " (eastwards). Kanne- 
meyer tentatively put forward the suggestions that the Great Augrabies 
Palls might prove an insuperable barrier, and also that the voracious 
Mud barbel {Clarias) might be an all too successful competitor. As 
regards the first suggestion, there is the possibility of an overland 
migration from the upper reaches of one of the east-flowing streams 
rising near the head waters of the Caledon or Orange Rivers, as the 
European eel has been often found in damp meadows away from 
water. The second suggestion is disproved by the presence of both 
eels and Clarias in many of the eastern rivers (the Manzemtonto 
and Dwaars Rivers, Transvaal, are specific instances). 

Gilchrist and Thompson state that large specimens are occasionally 
reported from the mouth of the Orange River. They do not specify 
the species, however, and it is not improbable that these are reports 
by an unqualified observer and refer not to an Anguilla, but to a 
species of Ophichthys. 

A large stufied specimen (1120 mm.) of this species is in the South 
African Museum, and was caught in the Liesbeck stream near Cape 
Town in 1891. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. Ill 

It is probable that this species occurs in all the rivers of the Cape 
Province, as well as further east and north. 

Weber (1913, Siboga Exp. Fishes, p. 31) and Weber and de Beaufort 
(1916, Fish. Indo. Austr. Archip., vol. iii, p. 243) separate mauritiana 
Benn. from bengalensis Gray {=elphinstonei Sykes) on the ground 
that the origin of the dorsal is nearer to the gill-opening than to the 
vent in the former, vice versa in the latter. An examination of the 
Museum material does not bear out the reliability of this distinction. 

Anguilla bengalensis (Gray). 
The Bengal Eel, 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Freshwater Fish. S. Afr., p. 467, 
figs. 1116, 113. 

Distance from end of snout to gill-slit 2|-3|- in distance from end 
of snout to vent. Mouth extending beyond posterior margin of eye. 
Tail much longer than body. Dorsal commencing well in advance of 
vent, about midway between pectoral and vent. Teeth in jaws 
narrowing rapidly on the sides to a single or double series, separated 
by an interspace from an inner series of minute teeth ; vomerine teeth 
in a band tapering rather strongly behind. 

Length.— JJp to 1200 mm. (1620 mm., Weber, 1913). 

Colour. — Olive-brown or greenish above, often mottled with 
darker ; lighter below. 

Locality.— 'Riveis of Zululand, Natal, Transvaal, and Cape Province. 

Distribution. — East Africa to India and Southern Pacific (but not 
Australasia). 

In view of the statement made under mossanibica that the Orange 
River record refers to that species, there appears to be no record of 
this species having been found in the Cape Province west of the Great 
Fish River. But a very much larger amount of material must be 
collected before the south-western limit of this species can be 
determined. 

* Anguilla australis Rich. 
The Australian Eel. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Freshwater Fish. S. Afr., p. 469, 
figs. 111c, 114. 

Distance from end of snout to gill-slit 3-3|^ in distance from end of 
snout to vent. Mouth extending to or beyond posterior margin of 
eye. Tail longer than body. Dorsal commencing above or slightly 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 12 



178 Annals of the South African Museum. 

in advance of vent. Teeth in broad bands in 4-10 series, slightly 
tapering behind ; vomerine teeth also in a broad band tapering 
behind. 

Length. — Up to 1070 mm. 

Colour. — Olive or dark green above, yellowish or whitish below. 

Locality. — Lake Usilonde, Zululand. 

Distribution. — Elvers of east coast of Africa, Indian and S. Pacific 
Oceans. 

This species has only been taken on one occasion within the limits 
of South Africa as here adopted. 

General Remarks on the Biology of Eels. 

It is unfortunately necessary to state at the outset that nothing 
is known as to the life-history of the South African Eels ; even their 
presence or absence in many of our rivers has not been satisfactorily 
and positively ascertained. No apology is therefore needed in giving 
here an epitome of the life-history of the European Eel [A. vulgaris). 

It has long been known that in spring countless numbers of young 
eels, known as '" elvers " in England, appear at the mouths of the 
rivers and make their way up stream, and that in the autumn a migra- 
tion down stream of full-grown eels takes place. The exact locality 
of the spawning ground and the full life-history remained unknown 
until 1920 and 1921, when the main outlines of the Eel's development 
were discovered. The history of the investigations may be read in an 
interesting article by Dr. Schmidt on " The Breeding-places of the 
Eel ■■ (Tr. Roy. Soc. London. B, 385, vol. ccxi, p. 179, 1922). 

The spawning grounds lie in an area to the N.E. and N. of the 
West Indies, between about 20°-30° N. Lat. and 50°-65° W. long. 
Here in spring and early summer the eggs are laid. Owing to their 
specific gravity, the eggs rise and the young larvae when hatched 
float about at a depth of 100-150 fathoms until at the end of the first 
summer they are 25 mm. long. They then rise to the upper layers 
quite near the surface and, aided by the currents, start on their 
eastward journey across the Atlantic to the shores of Europe. At 
the end of the 2nd summer they are 50-55 mm. long and have reached 
the central Atlantic. By the 3rd summer they have arrived off the 
coastal banks of Europe and are full grown, averaging about 75 mm. 
in length. 

LTp to this stage the eel-larva is quite unlike the adult eel. It is 
of an elongate-oval shape, compressed from side to side to the thinness 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 179 

of a sheet of paper, and perfectly transparent (see fig. 13, p. 217). It 
was described many years ago as an independent species of fish, under 
the name Leptocephalus ; many different " species " of Leptocephalus 
are now known, but only a small proportion of them have been, 
definitely correlated with their adult form. The larva of the Euro- 
pean Eel is known as L. brevirostris Kaup. 

During the autumn and winter of the 3rd year the Leptocephalus 
larvae undergo a metamorphosis, in the course of which they lose 
their transparency and leaf-like shape, becoming shorter in length 
(60-70 mm.), but thicker and more cylindrical, opaque, and pig- 
mented. They are now elvers, and in the spring of the 4th year, 
i.e. when they are 3 years old, they ascend the rivers. Here they 
sojourn for a number of years, at least 4-5 in the case of males, or 7 
in females (the age being told by the rings of growth on the minute 
scales, as in other fishes), the females growing to a larger size than the 
males. During this period they are termed " Yellow " eels, being 
more or less yellow in colour and without any silvery lustre. When, 
however, the time comes for them to migrate to the sea, they cease to 
feed and a metallic sheen develops on the body, so that they are called 
" Silver " eels ; the eye also increases in size. 

As stated above, the Silver eels descend the rivers in the autumn and 
make their way along the sea bottom to the spawning grounds across 
the Atlantic. How long the journey takes is not yet known. The 
roe and milt is not developed until the eels reach the sea, and after 
spawning both sexes apparently die. 

The only other True Eel whose life-history is known is the American 
Eel {A. rostrata). It spawns in almost the same area as that where 
the European Eel spawns, but its larvae grow much more rapidly, 
taking only one year to reach the elver stage, a fact which seems 
correlated with the lesser distance the larvae have to travel in order 
to reach the coast. 

In the case of the Eels occurring in South African waters, since they 
are all Indo-Pacific species, the conclusion may be hazarded that their 
spawning grounds will eventually be found to be somewhere in the 
depths of the Indian Ocean. 

Schmidt has shown (1909, Medd. Comm. Havunders. Fisk., vol. iii, 
No. 7, pp. 29-36, and map) that the American and European eels 
spawn outside the 1000 metre (about 550 fathoms) line, but only 
where the temperature at this depth is over 70° C. Such conditions 
are found in the Indian Ocean only on either side of the Indian 
Peninsula and in a small area to the S.E. of Madagascar. It is 



180 Annals of the South African Muneum. 

reasonable to suppose, therefore, that somewhere in these areas will 
eventually be found the spawning ground of the species of eel which 
frequent the South African rivers. 

If this proves to be the case it will explain why eels are common in 
the rivers flowing eastward and scarce or exceptional in those flowing 
westward. But for this purpose a specially equipped research vessel 
is required to carry out investigations over a large area and for a 
considerable number of years. It has taken the International Council 
for Fishery Investigations twenty years to track down the spawning 
ground of the European Eel and work out its life-history. 

But there are several questions, in the solution of which the fisher- 
man on shore can help. What is the distribution of eels in South 
Africa, and in particular of the different species ? Does the Bengal 
Eel, for example, ever occur south and west of the Great Fish River ? 
Is there any particular season when adult eels are observed descending, 
or the young elvers ascending, the rivers ? 

Fam. 2. Simencheliidae, 
Snub-nosed Eels. 

Body moderately compressed. Snout blunt. Mouth small, trans- 
verse. Tongue free. Scales present (except in Gymnosimenchelys). 
Grill-slits moderately far apart, horizontal, and ventral. Lateral line 
well developed. Teeth either uniserial in both jaws, with a median 
series on the vomer, all incisiform (those on the jaws being pleurodont, 
those on the vomer acrodont) ; or pleuriserial in the jaws and none on 
vomer. Nostrils superior, well separated, anterior one very shortly 
tubular. Vent far from head. Rays of vertical fins embedded in 
thick skin. Dorsal commencing shortly behind pectoral, confluent 
with anal. Pectorals well developed. Palato-pterygoid present. 
Frontals paired. Maxilla and mandible massive. 

Two genera and three species known. Gymnosimenchelys Tanaka, 
1908, is only known from Japanese seas. 

Gen. SiMENCHELYS Gill. 

1879. Gill in Goode and Bean, Bull. Essex Inst., vol. xi, p. 27. 

1889. CoUett, Bull. Soc. Zool. France, vol. xiv, p. 122 {Concho- 
gnathus). 

1890. Gill, Pr. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xiii, p. 239 (osteology). 

1920. Jaquet, Res. Camp. Sci. Monaco, fasc. 56 (anatomy and 
osteology). 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 181 

Scales present. Teeth uniserial in jaws, with 2-3 in a median series 
on vomer. 

Jaquet shows that the vomer preserves its distinctness, whereas 
the premaxillae are completely fused with the ethmoid. Although 
Boulenger (1904, Camb. Nat. Hist., pp. 599, 600) does not state 
whether he has actually examined the skull of this form, he seems to 
be of the opinion that the premaxilla has disappeared in all the members 
of the group. In the single Cape specimen I have been unable to see 
any suture between the vomer, which bears 2 teeth, and the ethmoid, 
or to separate the two bones. The anterior part of this composite 
bone bears 4 teeth, as found by Jaquet. The vomerine teeth are 
incisiform like all the others, not conical as represented in Jaquet's 
fig. 31. 

Simenchelys parasiticus Gill. 

Snub-nosed or Parasitic Eel. 

1879. Gill, in Goode and Bean, loc. cit., p. 27. 

1889. CoUett, loc. cit., p. 122 [Conchognathus grimaldii). 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. IchthyoL, p. 139, fig. 161. 

1896. Collett, Res. Camp. Sci. Monaco, fasc. 10, p. 156, pi. v, 
fig. 22. 

Depth of body a little less than length of head, which is about 5 
times in length of body as far as vent. Tail rather longer than body. 
Eye 2 in snout, 2\ in interorbital and in length of head. Lips thick, 
fleshy, corrugose. Dorsal commencing about a head's length behind 
base of pectoral. Vertebrae 118-120. (Plate VIII, fig. 6.) 

Length. — -Up to 430 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 810 fathoms. 

Distribution. — N. Atlantic (off Newfoundland and Azores), 80-1000 
fathoms. This curious and easily recognised eel is found burrowing 
and eating into the flesh of living fishes, halibut and other kinds, 
somewhat after the manner of a Hagfish [Myxine). 

This is the first occasion on which this species has been recorded 
from the South Atlantic. 

Two other species have been described from Japanese waters : 
S. dofleini Franz, and S. taketae Tanaka. 

Fam. 3. Ilyophidae. 

Body compressed. Snout conical. Cleft of mouth large, extending 
a short way behind eye. Scales present. Tongue scarcely developed, 



182 Annals of the South African Museum. 

adnate to floor of moutli. Gill-slits well separated, horizontal, and 
ventral. Lateral line well developed. Teeth small, in bands in both 
jaws and on vomer. Nostrils lateral, widely separate, the anterior 
shortly tubular near tip of snout, the posterior immediately in front 
of eye. Vent remote from head. Eays of vertical fins embedded 
in thick skin. Dorsal commencing shortly behind pectoral, confluent 
with anal. Pectorals well developed. Palato-pterygoid very slender. 
Frontals fused into a single bone. 

Eegan {he. eit., p. 387) suggests that the suspensorium is " pro- 
bably directed somewhat obliquely backwards." In the specimens 
which I have examined I find that it is quite vertical, so that the 
separation of this family from both the Dyssommidae and the Syna- 
phohranehidae seems justified. 

Up to the present only a single genus and species has been recog- 
nised. 

Gen. Ilyophis Gilbert. 
1892. Gilbert, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xiv, p. 351. 

Ilyophis brunneus Gilbert. 

1892. Gilbert, loc. cit., p. 352. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 141, fig. 162. 

Body compressed. Depth 6^, length of head 2f-2| in length of 
body to vent. Tail twice as long as body. Eye 3 in snout, 1^2 in 
interorbital, and 8-9 in length of head. Mouth extending to about 
half an eye's length behind eye. Dorsal commencing about the length 
of the pectoral behind base of pectoral. Pectoral 4 in length of head. 
Gill-slits subequal in length to eye and separated from one another 
by about the same distance. Teeth on maxilla villiform in a narrow 
band shortly separated from the vomerine teeth ; teeth on vomer 
conical, in front in transverse rows of 4, 5, 2, and 2, then in a double 
or triple series, thinning out behind to a single series ; in the lower jaw 
in a narrow band, villiform, but the inner row rather larger. 

Length.- — Up to 375 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, head darker, abdominal region with a violet 
tinge. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point, 800 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Pacific (Galopagos Islands), 634 fathoms. 

This species was formerly only known from the single type specimen 
captured by the U.S. vessel " Albatross." It is therefore extremely 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 183 

interesting to find that the s.s. " Pieter Faure " took two specimens 
in Cape waters. The specimens are smaller than the type, 250 mm. 
and 210 mm. long, but agree perfectly with Gilbert's description, 
except that the pectoral is slightly longer (4 in head instead of 6) 
and the body slightly longer (3 in total length instead of 3|). These 
characters are obviously not sufficient to establish a separate species. 



Fam. 4. Synaphobranchidae. 

Body compressed. Snout conical. Cleft of mouth very large, 
extending usually well behind eye. Scales present. Tongue scarcely 
developed, adnate to the floor of the mouth. Gill-slits ventral or 
ventrolateral, separate or confluent into a single longitudinal opening. 
Lateral line well developed. Teeth in narrow villiform bands in 
both jaws and on vomer. Nostrils lateral, well separated, the anterior 
tubular near tip of snout, the posterior slightly in advance of eye. 
Vent usually in anterior third of body, far from head. Rays of 
vertical fins embedded in thick skin. Dorsal commencing either 
behind or in advance of vent, confluent with anal. Pectorals well 
developed. Palato-pterygoid very slender. Frontals fused into a 
single bone. 

Two genera were formerly known, both represented in the South 
African fauna. To these a third is now added. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Dorsal commencing behind vent. Cheeks scaly. 

a. Gill-slits confluent ...... SynapJiobranchus. 

b. Gill-slits separate ...... Diastobranchus. 

2. Dorsal commencing in advance of vent. Cheeks not scaly. Gill-slits confluent 

Histiobranchus. 

Gen. Synaphobranchus Johnson. 

1862. Johnson, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, p. 169. 

Dorsal commencing behind vent, which is about a head's length 
distant from gill-slits. Pectoral longer than snout. Gill-slits ventral, 
longitudinal, confluent into a single opening. Scales extending over 
head and cheeks. 

Synaphobranchus pinnatus (Gronov.). 

1854. Gronovius (ed. Giinther), Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., p. 19. 
1862. Johnson, loc. cit., p. 169 (Kaupi). 



184 Annals of the South African Museum. 

1877. Glinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. xx, p. 445. 

1887. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 253, pi. Ixii. fig. A. 

1888. Yaillant, Exp. Sci. Travailleur and Talisman, Poiss., p. 88, 
pi. vi, fig. 2. 

1919. Eoule, Res. Camp. Sci. Monaco, fasc. 52, p. 99, pi. vi, fig. 3 
( var. pannpinnis) . 

Depth of body about 4, length of head (to base of pectoral) 2-2J 
in length of body (to vent). Length of body (to vent) 3j-3f in total 
length. Eye 2-2J in snout, l-H in interorbital and 7-8 in length of 
head. Mouth twice length of snout, H in length of head, extending 
to midway between hind margin of eye and front margin of gill-slits. 
Dorsal commencing J-i- head's length behind vent. Pectoral inserted 
about midway between tip of snout and vent, subequal to snout plus 
eye, 2|-3 in length of head, about 15 in length of body to vent. 
Length of gill-slits equal to or slightly larger than eye. Teeth in 
narrow villiform bands on maxilla and mandible, with an inner row 
of slightly larger conical teeth ; in the anterior part of the lower jaw 
these larger teeth are alone present, and in the upper jaw there is at 
most a single row of the smaller teeth ; large conical teeth on front 
part of vomer in a longitudinally oval patch, followed at some little 
distance by a long narrow band of small conical teeth in a single (or 
at most partly double) series. 

Length. — L^p to 550 mm. 

Colour. — Dark brown or blackish, margins of vertical fins and 
region of gill-slits darker, mouth blue-black. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point, Agulhas Bank, and East London, 400-560 
fathoms. 

Distribution. — N. Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Japan, 200-1730 fathoms. 

One of the commonest of deep-sea eels. They appear to feed 
mainly on Crustacea. 

Gen. DiASTOBRAXCHUS Brnrd. 

1923. Barnard, Ann. S. Afr. Mus, vol. xiii, pt. 8, p. 441. 

Dorsal commencing behind vent, which is less than a head's length 
distant from gill-slits. Pectoral considerably longer than snout. 
Gill-slits ventro-lateral, oblique, separated. Tail more than 3 times 
length of body to vent. Scales extending over head and cheeks. 
The patch of teeth on front of vomer distinctly separated by a gap 
from the single series on the hinder part, the first two teeth of which 
are conical and larger than any of the other teeth in the snout. 

Except for the separate gill-slits, the single species contained in 



PLATE VIII. 



1. Argyropelecu-s affinis Garm. (after Brauer) . 

2. Polyipnus s2nnosus Guthr. (after Brauer) 

3. Galeidithys feliceps 0. and V. (after Cuv. and Val, 

4. Aldrovandia macrochir (Gnthr.) (after Gilchrist) 

5. Macdonaldia rostrata (CoUett) (after Collett) 

6. Simenchelys parasiticus GiU. (after Collett) . 

7. Diastobranchus capensis Brnrd. (original) 

8. Dysomma anguillaris Brnrd. (original) 



TEXT-PAGE 

152 
155 
160 
168 
172 
181 
185 
195 



Plate VIII. 




^S£r 





8 



Neill <£■ Co., Ltd. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 185 

this genus might well go into Synaphobranchus, as the forward position 
of the vent is not by itself of sufficient importance to be considered 
a generic character. In the short extension of the cleft of the mouth 
behind the eye, it resembles llyophis: 

Diastobranchus capensis Brnrd. 

1923. Barnard, loc. cit., p. 441. 

Depth of body 3 (adult) to 4 (juv.), length of head (to pectoral) l§-lf 
in length of body (to vent). Length of body (to vent) 4|— 5 in total 
length. Eye 2-2^ in snout, 1-lj in interorbital width, 6-7 in length 
of head. Mouth not more than twice length of snout, extending not 
more than an eye's length behind posterior margin of eye. If in length 
of head. Dorsal commencing about § of a head's length behind vent. 
Pectoral inserted considerably nearer vent than tip of snout, |-f as 
long as head, extending to or almost to vent, pointed. Gill-slits 
separated at their anterior ends by a space equal to the length of one 
gill-slit. Teeth in jaw as in Synaphobranchus pinnatus ; teeth on 
front part of vomer enlarged, conical, in an oval patch, separated by 
a space from the single series on the hinder part of vomer, the first two 
teeth of which are also conical and larger than any of the others. 
(Plate VIII, fig. 7.) 

Length. — Up to 790 mm. 

Colour. — Blackish brown, branchial region with a violet tinge ; 
mouth blue-black. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 470 fathoms. 

Types in South African Museum. 

The food consists of various Crustacea. 



Gen. HiSTioBRANCHUS Gill. 

1883. Gill, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. vi, p. 255. 

1890, Id., ibid., vol. xiii, p. 161. 

Dorsal commencing shortly behind pectoral, about midway between 
tip of snout and end of tail, which is subequal to, only very little 
longer than, snout. Vent 2 heads' length distant from gill-slits, 
which are ventral, longitudinal, and confluent into a single opening. 
Scales not extending over head and cheeks. 

Eegan (1913, Tr. Roy. Soc. Edin., vol. xlix, pt. 2, p. 235) regards 
Histiobranchus as a subgenus of Synaphobranchus, but if the characters 
separating these two genera are considered only of subgeneric im- 



186 Annals of the South African Museum. 

portance, surely tlie characters relied on by Regan for distinguishing 
the 3 species of Histiobranchus are equally invalid. In fact, they fall 
well within the range of variation such as one finds in the allied and 
equally widely distributed Synaphobranchus pinnatus. I therefore 
recognise only one species, which is included here, as there can scarcely 
be any doubt that it will one day be captured within our limits. 

^Histiobranchus bathybius Gnthr. 

1877. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. xx, p. 445. 

1883. Gill, loc. cit., p. 255 {infer nalis) . 

1887, Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 254, pi. Ixii, fig. B 
(bathybius). 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. IchthyoL, p. 145, fig. 165 {infernalis). 

1913. Regan, Tr. Roy. Soc. Edin., vol. xlix, pt. 2, p. 235, pi. viii, 
fig. 5 {australis). 

Depth of body 4|-5, length of head (to base of pectoral) 3-31^ in 
length of body (to vent). Length of body (to vent) about equal to 
tail. Eye lf-2 in snout, 7-8 in length of head. Mouth twice length 
of snout, 1^ in length of head. Dorsal commencing above pectoral, 
which is 34-4J in length of head and 13-14 in length of body (to vent). 
Teeth as in Synaphobranchus pinnatus. 

Length. — Up to 612 mm. 

Colour. — Dark brown. 

Locality. — Between Cape of Good Hope and Kerguelen, 1375 
fathoms. 

Distribution. — N. and S. Atlantic, N. Pacific and S. Indian Oceans, 
1375-2050 fathoms. 

The only specimen taken in proximity to South Africa is that taken 
by the " Challenger " and which was made the type of australis by 
Regan. It is an albino specimen, 350 mm. in length. 

Fam. 5. Coxgridae. 

Conger Eels. 

Body moderately compressed. Snout conical. Cleft of mouth large 
but not extending far behind eye. Scales absent. Tongue free 
or adnate to floor of mouth. Gill-slits separate. Lateral line well 
developed. Teeth conical or granular, usually strong, in bands or 
in one or more series on jaws and vomer. Nostrils lateral. Vent 
far from head. Rays of vertical fins embedded in thick skin. Dorsal 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 187 

commencing above or behind pectoral, confluent with anal. Pectorals 
well developed, or absent. Frontals fused into a single bone. Sus- 
pensorium vertical or directed obliquely forwards. Palato-pterygoid 
present. Caudal vertebrae with transverse processes. Maxilla arti- 
culated with ethmoid near end of snout. 

The Congers are a large family, exclusively marine, but including 
both shallow and deep-water forms, and ranging over the whole world. 
Nettastoma and certain allied genera were once placed in a separate 
family, but have been united by Regan with the Congers. The entire 
absence of pectorals, however, and the long slender tail mark them off 
very distinctly, and they are here accorded subfamily rank. 

Key to the South African families. 

I. Pectorals well developed. Tongue free {Congrinae). 

A. Vomerine teeth in a band. 

1. Outer series of teeth in jaws closely set and forming a cutting edge 

Conger 

2. Outer series not forming a cutting edge. . . Congermuraena. 

B. Vomerine teeth in a single series ..... Uroconger. 
II. Pectorals absent. Tongue adnate (Nettastominae). 

A. Snout not produced ....... Nettastoma. 

B. Snout produced in a slender fleshy process .... Venefica. 

Gen. Conger Cuv. 

1829. Cuvier, Regne Anim., vol. ii, p. 350. 

Pectorals well developed. Head flat above. Tongue free. Lips 
thick. Maxillary and mandibular teeth in series, in outer of which 
the teeth are set closely together so as to form a cutting edge. Inner 
series minute or obsolete. Vomerine teeth in a short band. No 
canine teeth. Dorsal commencing behind root of pectoral. Mucous 
pores on jaws inconspicuous. Anterior nostril tubular. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Dorsal commencing above or behind tip of pectoral . . . vulgaris. 

2. Dorsal commencing in advance of tip of pectoral .... cinereiis. 

Conger vulgaris Cuv. 
The Conger. 

1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 38. 

1895. Smitt, Skandin. Fish., vol. ii, p. 1037, pi. xlv, fig. 2. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 80 (larval form only). 



188 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Length of head 2|-2f in length of body to vent. Tail longer than 
rest of body. Eye 1|— If in snout, subequal to interorbital width, 
5-6 (or a little more) in length of head. Posterior nostril on level 
with antero-superior angle of orbit. Cleft of mouth extending to 
vertical from posterior third of eye. Upper and lower jaw about 
equal. Vomerine teeth not extending back as far as tip of tongue. 
Dorsal commencing above or slightly behind extremity of pectoral, 
which is 3J in length of head. Vertebrae 153-164. 

Length.— V^ to 8 ft. (2400 mm.). 

Colour. — -Greyish or blackish, sometimes entirely black, vertical 
fins with black margins, the pectoral immaculate. 

Locality. — Agulhas Bank, 20-40 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Nearly cosmopolitan, but not occurring in the Eastern 
Pacific. 

The Conger is an excellent food-fish, but is not abundant enough in 
these waters to be of any importance. The larva is known as Lepto- 
cephalus morrissi and will be described below (p. 219). 

"^Conger cinereus Riipp. 

1828. Riippell, Fische des Roth. Meeres, p. 115. 

1841. Valenciennes, Voy. Bonite. Poiss., p. 201, pi. ix, fig. 1. 

1864. Bleeker, Atl. Ichthyol. Muraen., p. 26, pi. xxiii, fig. 2 
(noordzicki). 

1870. Gunther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 38 (references). 

1913. Weber, Siboga Exp. Fishes Monogr., vol. Ixv, p. 43 
(references). 

1916. Weber and de Beaufort, Fish. Indo-Austr. Archip., vol. iii, 
p. 258, fig. 107 {cinereus). 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320 (marginatus) 
(name only). 

Tail longer than rest of body. Eye nearly 1|^ in snout, 5^ in length 
of head. Posterior nostril slightly below level of antero-posterior 
angle of orbit. Jaws about equal. Dorsal commencing conspicuously 
in advance of extremity of pectoral. Vomerine teeth extend back 
to or slightly beyond tip of tongue. Vertebrae 142. 

Length. — Up to 1000 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish or blackish, vertical fins with black edge, pectoral 
frequently (chiefly in adults) with a black spot. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distrihution. — East coast of Africa, East Indies. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 189 



Gen. CoNGERMURAENA Kaup. 

1856. Kaup, Cat. Apod. Fish, p. 108. 

Pectoral present. Head more or less flat above. Tongue free. 
Lips often thick and fleshy. Mucous pores on lips well developed. 
Dorsal commencing above root of pectoral. Teeth in both jaws and 
on vomer forming bands. No canines. Anterior nostril tubular. 

Several species have been instituted in this genus from various parts 
of the world, comprising inhabitants of both shallow and deep waters. 

The separation of those species with villiform teeth {Congrellus 
Ogilby) from those with granular teeth {Congermuraena) would seem 
to be impossible in practice. In all the South African species the inner 
teeth on the jaws and the vomer all tend to be more granular than the 
outer and anterior teeth. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Gill-slit less than interspace. 

a. Vertical fins without dark edging ...... albescens. 

h. Vertical fins with dark edging. Eye subequal to snout . . australis. 

2. GiU-slit subequal to interspace. Vertical fins with dark edging . anago. 



Congermuraena albescens Brnrd. 
The White Conger. 

1923. Barnard, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. xiii, pt. 8, p. 442. 

Depth of body about 5, length of head nearly 3 in length of body to 
vent. Length of body to vent about 1\ in distance from vent to tip 
of tail. Eye 1^ in snout and in interorbital width, 5| in length of head. 
Dorsal commencing above middle of pectoral, which is 3f in length of 
head. Lips rather thick and fleshy, upper jaw slightly longer than 
lower, but snout not projecting, cleft of mouth extending to below 
centre of eye. Teeth in about 4 series on jaws and vomer ; maxillary 
and mandibular bands 4 mm. wide (wider in front), vomerine band 
elongate ovate, 6 mm. wide, extending back beyond tip of tongue 
and almost to level of front margin of eye ; the teeth mostly conical, 
but the inner ones more or less tubercular with rounded tops, the 
vomerine teeth especially so. Length of gill-slit 2h in interspace. 
(Plate IX, fig. 1.) 

Length. — 700 mm. 



190 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Colour (as preserved). — Yellowish- white, vertical fins without any 
traces of dark edging. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 250 fathoms. 
Type in South African Museum. 

Congermuraena australis Brnrd. 
Cape Lesser Conger. 

1923. Barnard, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. xiii, pt. 8, p. 442. 

Depth of body about 7, length of head 2\ in length of body to vent. 
Length of body to vent about 1| in length of tail. Eye nearly equal 
to snout, twice interorbital width, 4|— 5 in length of head. Dorsal 
commencing immediately behind origin of pectoral, which is 3 in 
length of head. Lips thick and fleshy, snout overlapping lower jaw 
by at least half diameter of eye, cleft of mouth extending to below 
anterior third of eye. Vomerine teeth extending back to tip of 
tongue {i.e. not as far as front margin of eye) below anterior third of 
eye ; about 3 series in each band, more numerous in front, some of 
the vomerine teeth subtubercular. Length of gill-slit half the inter- 
space. Vertebrae about 136. 

Length. — Up to 375 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, the vertical fins with dark edging. 

Locality. — Coast of S.W. Africa, off Cape Peninsula, False Bay, 
Tristan d'Acunha, 2-60 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

This species is closely allied to both balearica and mystax. It 
resembles the latter in the longer tail proportionally to the head and 
trunk, and in the projecting snout and the thick lips ; but it has the 
vertical fins with black edging as in balearica. As regards the average 
number of vertebrae it appears to be intermediate between the two 
northern species. 

The assumed larva of this species is described below (p. 219) as 
Leptocephalus capensis Kaup. 

Congermuraena anago (Schleg.). 

Japanese Lesser Conger. 

1846. Schlegel, Faun. Jap. Poissons, p. 259, pi. cxiii, fig. 1. 
1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 660, pi. clxix, fig. 2. 
1901. Jordan and Snyder, Proc. L".S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxiii, p. 855, 
text-fig. 8. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 191 

1916. Weber and de Beaufort, Fish. Indo-Austr. Archip., vol. iii, 
p. 262, text-figs. 109, 111. 

Depth of body about 7, length of head 2f-2i, in length of body to 
vent. Length of body to vent Ij-lJ in length of tail. Eye subequal 
to snout, lj-2 times as large as interorbital width, 4|^-5 in length of 
head. Dorsal commencing immediately above gill-slit. Pectoral 
2J-2|^ in length of head. Lips rather thin, snout not prominent, 
cleft of mouth extending to level of centre of eye. Vomerine band of 
teeth half as long as maxillary band, extending back to tip of tongue ; 
2-3 series in all the bands, Gome of the vomerine teeth subtubercular. 
Length of gill-slit subequal to interspace. 

Length. — ^Up to 600 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, fins yellowish, the vertical ones (usually) with 
dark edging, tip of tail white. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 22 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Indian Seas, East Lidies, Japan. 



Gen. Uroconger Kaup.. 

1856. Kaup, Cat. Apod. Fish., p. 110. 

Pectorals present. Head more or less flat above. Tongue free. 
Lips moderately thick. Maxillary and mandibular teeth biserial, 
acicular, not closely set ; vomerine teeth uniserial, some of them 
canines. Dorsal commencing above root of pectoral. Mucous 
pores on jaws well developed. Anterior nostril tubular. Tail 
tapering. 

Only two species of this genus are known, one from shallow 
water and the other from deep water. Both are found in the South 
African region. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Vomerine series of teeth long. Interspace between gill-slits less than their length 

le2)tiirus. 

2. Vomerine series very short. Interspace between gill-slits greater than their 

length . . . . . . . . . . . vicinus. 



Uroconger leptunis (Rich.). 

1844-5. Richardson, Voy. Sulphur, Fish., p. 106, pi. Ivi, figs. 1-6. 
1844. Id., Voy. Erebus and Terror, Fish., p. 109. 
1864. Bleeker, Atl. Ichthyol. Muraen., p. 29, pi. v, fig. 1. 
1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 44. 



192 Annals of the South African Museum. 

1916. Weber and de Beaufort, Fish. Indo-Austr. Archip., vol. iii, 
p. 265, text-figs. 113, 114. 

Body not mucli compressed. Snout overhanging lower jaw. 
Depth of body 7, length of head 2| in length of body to vent. Tail 
at least twice length of rest of body. Eye not quite twice in snout, 
subequal to interorbital width, 6|— 7^ in length of head. Cleft of 
mouth extending to level of hind margin of eye. Dorsal commencing 
above root of pectoral, which is Si-i in length of head. Vomerine 
series extending back at least as far as level of front margin of eye, the 
2 anterior teeth canines. Gill-slits longer than the interspace between 
them. 

Length. — Up to 430 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, the vertical fins with black margins. 

Locality. — Coast of Zululand, 26 fathoms. 

Distribution. — East Indies and China. 

A shallow-water species. 

The single specimen in the South African Museum lacks all trace of 
the right pectoral fin. 

Uroconger vicinus Vaill. 

1888. Vaillant, Exp. Sci. Travailleur and Talisman, Poiss., p. 86, 
pi. vi, fig. 1. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 138, fig. 160 (immature). 

Body considerably compressed. Snout scarcely projecting. Depth 
of body 5-5|, length of head 3 in length of body to vent (or 8 in total 
length). Tail not twice length of rest of body. Eye If in snout, 
subequal to interorbital width, 7 in length of head. Cleft of mouth 
extending to level of hind margin of eye. Dorsal commencing at a 
level nearer tip than root of pectoral, which is 3f in length of head. 
Vomerine series of teeth consisting of 2 large canines only ; strong 
canines in the front of both jaws. Gill-slits shorter than the inter- 
space between them. 

Length. — Up to 640 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, vertical fins black posteriorly. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point, 345 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Off west coast of Africa (Cape Verde), 300-700 
fathoms ; " Albatross " station, 210. 

A deep-water species. The larger of the two specimens taken by 
the " Pieter Faure " is the largest known specimen, 510 mm. being 
the length of the largest " Talisman " specimen. The " Albatross " 
specimen is an immature one provisionally identified with this species. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 193 

Brauer identified the " Valdivia " specimen as lepturus, and was of 
opinion that Alcock's specimens (Cat. Deep-sea Fish. Ind. Mus., 
p. 200, 1899) also should have been identified with this species instead 
of with vicinus. Sewel (1912, Rec. Ind. Mus., vol. vii, pt. 1, p. 12) 
is of the same opinion. But it is quite clear that these specimens 
cannot be identified with lepturus of Richardson, and in 1916 (Fish. 
Indo-Aust. Archip., vol. iii, p. 266) Weber and de Beaufort have 
renamed the Indian Ocean form of Alcock and Brauer as hraueri. 

The question still remains whether the Indian Ocean form hraueri 
is really distinct from the Atlantic vicinus. Brauer gives the number 
of pectoral rays in the former as 17 and the proportion of head to 
length as 1 : 7 or 8. Alcock also gives the latter proportion. Vaillant 
gives the proportion as 1 : 11, but does not state the number of pec- 
toral rays, though his figure indicates far fewer than 17. 

Weber and de Beaufort appear to have based their description 
on those of Alcock and Brauer, but unaccountably give the length of 
the tail as " more than 2\ " times that of the trunk. According to 
Brauer the tail is less than twice as long as the trunk. 

In the Cape specimens the head to length proportions are 1 : 8 and 
1 : 8-5. The number of pectoral rays is 9. I have, therefore, decided 
to identify them with Vaillant's species. The specific distinctness of 
hraueri seems to need confirmation. 



Gen. Nettastoma Raf. 

1810. Rafinesque, Caratteri Nuovi Gen., p. 66. 

Pectorals absent. Tongue adnate to floor of mouth. Lips thin 
and feebly developed. Snout elongate, without a fleshy prolonga- 
tion. Upper jaw projecting beyond lower. Teeth villiform, in 
narrow bands on jaws and vomer. Dorsal commencing above gill- 
slits. Nostrils superior, the anterior ones shortly tubular. Tail 
tapering. Mucous pores on head well developed. 

The Mediterranean species, N . melanurus, is well known to the 
fishermen at Nice and elsewhere, who have bestowed upon it the name 
of Sorceress. Its Latin equivalent is the scientific name of the 
following genus. The name of the present genus really means 
" duck-mouth," here modified into " duck-billed." 

A metamorphosing larval form supposed to be the larva of the 
Mediterranean species has been named Hyoprorus messinensis (Giinther, 
Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 144). 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 13 



194 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Nettastoma parviceps Gntlir. 
Duck-billed Eel. 

1877. Gunther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. xx, p. 446. 

1887. Id., Challenger Report, vol. xxii, p. 253, pi. Ixiii, fig. A. 
Length of body to vent 14—2 in length of tail. Length of head (to 

gill-slits) 2^ (juv.) to 2h in distance from gill-slits to vent. Eye 4 in 
snout, a little (considerably in juv.) larger than interorbital width, 
9-10 in length of head. Cleft of mouth extending slightly beyond 
hind margin of eye. Dorsal commencing in front of gill-slits, which 
are shorter than the interspace between them. A low fleshy ridge 
from the anterior to the posterior nostril demarcating the upper and 
lateral surfaces of the snout. 

Length. — Up to 662 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, edges of the vertical fins posteriorly black, 
lining of abdominal cavity purplish black. 

Locality. — Off East London and eastern declivity of Agulhas Bank, 
33-400 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Japan, 345 fathoms. 

Several specimens in the South African Museum from 230 mm. 
up to 460 mm. The largest specimens were taken in the shallower 
waters. The tail varies considerably in proportionate length, perhaps 
due to mutilation at an early stage of growth, but always possesses 
distinct caudal rays. 

Gen. Venefica Jord. and Dav. 

1891. Jordan and Davis, Rep. U.S. Fish. Commis. for 1888, p. 651. 

Similar to Nettostoma, but with a slender fleshy process on the apex 
of the snout projecting forwards. 

Two species are known, but the necessity for separating them 
generically from Nettastoma seems rather doubtful. 

Venefica proboscidea (VailL). 
Proboscis Eel. 

1888. Vaillant, Exp. Sci. Travailleur et Talism., Poiss., p. 84, pi. vii, 
fig. 3. 

Length of body to vent (the process on snout is not included in any 
of the measurements) nearly 3 times in length of tail. Length of 
head 3 times in distance from gill-slits to vent. Eye 8|^ in snout, 



A Monograph of the Marme Fishes of South Africa. 195 

greater than interorbital width, 17 in length of head. Cleft of mouth 
extending an eye's length beyond hind margin of eye. Dorsal 
commencing slightly behind gill-slits, which are subequal to the 
interspace between them. Snout depressed, the fleshy process If 
in its length, or 4 times the diameter of eye. 

Length. — Up to 960 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, lining of abdominal cavity black. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point, 660 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Off Atlantic coast of Morocco, 1100 fathoms. 

The single specimen, 910 mm. long, is evidently referable to Vail- 
lant's species, which was founded on a slightly larger, but somewhat 
mutilated specimen. 

There is a slight gap in the maxillary band of teeth at the level of 
the apex of the lower jaw, and the vomerine band also ends at the 
same level, so that the teeth on the apex of the upper jaw form an 
isolated patch. 

Fam. 6. Dysommidae. 

Body moderately compressed. Snout conical. Cleft of mouth 
large. Scales absent. Tongue adnate to floor of mouth. Gill-slits 
separate. Lateral line present. Teeth conical, small and in narrow 
bands or a single series on jaws, large and in a single series on vomer. 
Nostrils lateral, the posterior very large. Eye very small, sub- 
cutaneous. Vent immediately, or only a short distance behind gill- 
slits. Rays of vertical fins embedded in thick skin. Dorsal commenc- 
ing above gill-slits, confluent with anal. Pectorals well developed, 
or absent. Frontals united into a single bone. Suspensorium 
directed very obliquely backwards. Palato-pterygoid absent. 

Two genera, both from the Indian Ocean, have been described by 
Alcock. 

Gen. Dysomma Alcock. 

1889. Alcock, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (6), vol. iv, p. 459. 
Pectorals present. Vent between, or only a very short distance 
behind, gill-slits. Dorsal commencing above gill-slits. 

Dysomma anguillaris Brnrd. 

1923. Barnard, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. xiii, pt. 8, p. 443. 
Length of body to vent 5 times in length of tail. Length of head 
(to gill-slit) 7 in total length. Head flat above. Eye 4 in snout, 



196 Annals of the South African Museum. 

3| in interorbital space. Snout overlapping lower jaw, 4:^ in length of 
head. Lips thick and fleshy. Cleft of mouth extending 2 eye 
diameters behind eye. Posterior nostril almost as large as eye. 
Pectoral about 4^ in length of head. Dorsal commencing above or 
slightly in advance of gill-slits, which are subequal to the interspace 
between them. Distance of vent from posterior end of gill-slit equal 
to length of 1 gill-slit. A narrow band of villiform teeth on posterior 
f of maxilla ; 2 conical teeth, set transversely, in front of upper jaw, 
followed by 4 canine teeth on vomer, the 3rd being the largest ; 7-8 
canine teeth on each mandible, set well apart, but not so large as those 
on vomer ; each of the canine teeth is set in an oval conical fleshy 
papilla, with only its point projecting. Snout and lower jaw thickly 
covered with minute villiform papillae. (Plate VIII, fig. 8.) 

Length. — 360 mm. 

Colour. — As preserved, silvery white ; bases of vertical fins posteriorly 
dark, but edge white. 

Locality. — Ofi Tugela River mouth. Natal, 63 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

The elongate form at once distinguishes this species from the only 
other species of the genus : bucephalus Alcock, 1889. 

The body cavity extends to within 70 mm. of the end of the tail, 
but the intestinal loop only extends to about the middle of the total 
length of the body. The stomach contained portions of crabs. 

Fam. 7. Muraenesocidae. 

Body moderately compressed. Snout conical, long. Cleft of 
mouth large. Scales absent. Tongue adnate. Gill-slits separate. 
Lateral line well developed. Teeth in two or three series in the jaws 
and on vomer ; the median rows on the vomer large and conical, 
similar canines in the front of the jaws. Nostrils lateral, the anterior 
one tubular. Vent far from head. Rays of vertical fins not en- 
veloped in thick skin. Dorsal commencing above gill-slits, confluent 
with anal. Pectorals well developed. Frontals united into a single 
bone. Suspensorium vertical or directed obliquely forwards. Palato- 
pterygoid present. Caudal vertebrae without transverse processes. 
Maxilla articulated with ethmoid at a considerable distance from the 
end of the rather long snout. 

As now restricted, this family contains only the one genus. There 
are several species distributed over the tropical and subtropical 
xegions. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 197 

Gen. MuRAENESOX McClell. 

1843. McClelland, Calcutta Journ. Nat. Hist., vol. iv, p. 408. 
With the characters of the family. 

Muraenesox cinereus (Forsk). 
Silver Eel ; Conger-Pike. 

1878. Day, Fish. India, p. 662, pi. clxviii, fig. 4. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 302 (references). 

Tail rather longer than length of body to vent. Head (to base of 
pectoral) 2|-2| in length of body to vent. Eye 2^-2|^ in snout, once 
in interorbital width, about 10 in length of head. Cleft of mouth 
extending half an eye's diameter beyond eye, less than half length of 
head. Dorsal commencing above anterior end of gill-slits. Pectorals 
3 in length of head. Median vomerine teeth compressed with basal 
lobe in front and behind, the lateral rows small ; maxillary teeth 
small ; inner mandibular row small, the outer ones larger, but not as 
large as the vomerine teeth, not bent outwards. Vertebrae, 154. 
(Plate IX, fig. 2.) 

Length. — Up to 1500 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, whitish beneath ; vertical fins yellowish, with dark 
margins ; pectoral yellowish or blackish. 

Locality. — Natal coast, shallow water, occasionally entering 
estuaries. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific Ocean, to Japan and Australia. 

Fam. 8. Nemichthyidae. 
Thread Eels. 

Roule and Bertin, Bull. Mus. d'hist. nat. Paris, 1924, no. i, p. 61. 

Body very elongate, compressed. Snout acutely pointed, jaws very 
long and attenuate. Cleft of mouth extending behind eye. Scales 
absent. Tail very long and tapering. Tongue adnate. Gill-slits 
wide, sometimes confluent. Lateral line present. Teeth on jaws 
small and numerous in villiform bands, retrorse, those on vomer either 
similar, or large, conical, and in a single series. Nostrils lateral, 
close together in front of eye, not tubular. Vent not far from gill- 
slits. Rays of vertical fins connected by membrane, not enclosed 
in thick skin. Dorsal commencing either far forwards or some 
way back. Pectorals usually present, sometimes absent. Frontals 



198 Annals of the South African Museum. 

paired. Suspensorium vertical. Palato-pterygoid absent. Caudal 
vertebrae without transverse processes. Maxilla articulated with 
ethmoid far behind tip of snout. 

These eels, remarkable for the long, slender, beak-like snout and the 
long, tapering tail, are all deep-water forms. Their slender and 
fragile bodies consequently are always more or less mutilated in the 
process of capture. The family contains about half a dozen genera, 
three of which are represented in South African waters. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Vomerine teeth small and similar to those in jaws. 

a. Lateral line triple ....... Nemichthys. 

b. Lateral line single ....... Avocettina. 

2. Vomerine teeth large, in a single series ..... Serrivomer. 

Gen. Nemichthys Eich. 

1848. Richardson, Voy. Samarang, Fishes, p. 16. 

1924. Roule and Bertin, loo. cit., p. 62. 

Snout very long, needle-like, upper jaw curved upwards (at least 
in most preserved specimens). Teeth small, villiform, retrorse, 
regularly arranged in quincunx on jaws and vomer. Gill-slits separate, 
but rather close together ventrally. Lateral line triple, each large 
pore alternating with two pairs of small pores, one pair above, the 
other below, the central line. Dorsal and anal confluent around end 
of tail. Dorsal commencing far forward above gill- openings. Pec- 
torals present. Tail extremely tapering, thread-like. Vent below 
the pectorals. 

Four species have been described, but their specific distinctness is 
a matter of uncertainty. 

Nemichthys scolopaceus Rich. 

Thread Eel. 

1848. Richardson, Voy. Samarang, Fishes, p. 25, pi. x, figs. 1-3. 
1888. Vaillant, Exp. Sci. Travailleur et Talisman, p. 93, pi. vii, 
fig. 2. 

1894. Alcock, J. Asia. Soc. Bengal, vol. Ixiii, pt. 2, p. 136 {acantho- 
notus). 

1895. Id., Illustr. Zool. Investigator. Fishes, pt. 3, pi. xiv, fig. 5 
[acanthonotus) . 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. IchthyoL, p. 152, fig. 170. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 199 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 126, 
pi. ix, fig. 1. 

1910. Roule, Ann. Instit. Ocean, vol. i, fasc. 6, p. 1, pi. i. 

1924. Roule and Bertin, loc. cit., p. 62 (synonymy). 

Depth of head about 7 in its length. Eye about 3 in distance 
between its hind margin and pectoral. Dorsal commencing on 
occiput in advance of gill-slits, the rays in the middle third with short 
spines at their bases. Pectoral half postorbital length of head. 
Rays in anal longer than those in dorsal. Tail posteriorly of thread- 
like fineness. 

Length. — Up to 1445 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish or blackish, lighter above ; iris blue or purplish. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 400 fathoms ; Natal coast. 

Distribution. — N. and S. Atlantic, Indio-Pacific Ocean, 300-1000 
fathoms. 

Gen. AvocETTiNA Jord. and Davis. 

1891. Jordan and Davis, Rep. U.S. Fish. Comm. for 1888, p. 655. 
• 1924. Roule and Bertin, loc. cit., p. 63. 

Similar to Nemichthys, but the vent situated about a head's length 
behind gill-slits, lateral line composed of only a single series of pores, 
and tail not thread-like. 

Labichthys Gill and Ryder, 1833, is supposed to be distinct in that 
the type species, carinatus, has the vent beneath the pectorals as in 
Nemichthys. Specimens of this family are notoriously difficult to 
examine owing to mutilations, but a re-examination of the species of 
these two genera would be welcome. 

Avocettina infans {GnthT.). 
Avocel Eel. 

1878. Gunther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 251. 

1887. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 264, pi. Ixiii, fig. B. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 153, figs. 173, 174. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 129, 
pi. viii, figs. 5, 6. 

1916. Weber and de Beaufort, Fish. Indo.-Austr. Archip., vol. iii, 
p. 334, text-figs. 161, 162. 

1924. Roule and Bertin, loc. cit., p. 63 (synonymy). 

Depth of head about 9 in its length. Eye 2^-3 in its distance from 
pectoral. Postorbital portion of head about 4 in snout. Dorsal 



200 Annals of the South African Museum. 

commencing above middle of pectoral, which is f in postorbital length 
of head. Dorsal rays uniform, shorter than anal rays. 

Length.— JJ-p to 680 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish black. 

Locality.— 0& Cape Point, 480-630 fathoms. 

Distribution. — N. and Middle Atlantic, Indo-Pacific Ocean, 300- 
2500 fathoms. 

Gen. Sereivomer Gill and Ryder. 

1883. Gill and Ryder, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. vi, p. 260. 

1924. Roule and Bertin, loc. cit., p. 63. 

Snout not very attenuate. Teeth on upper jaw and in front of 
lower jaw minute, on hinder part of lower jaw more widely spaced 
and somewhat enlarged and canine-like ; vomer with a single series 
of enlarged, lancet-like teeth set closely together. Gill-slits appar- 
ently confluent. Lateral line with a single row of pores. Pectoral 
present. Dorsal commencing behind anal. Vent distant from gill- 
slits. Tail not thread-like. 

Serrivomer beani Gill and Ryder. 

1883. Gill and Ryder, loc. cit., p. 261. 
1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. IchthyoL, p. 155, fig. 175. 
1899. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard, vol. xxiv, p. 320, 
fig. 63 (sector). 

1905. Gilbert, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., 1903, vol. xxiii, pt. 2, p. 5^6. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 132, 
pi. viii, fig. 4. 

1916. Weber and de Beaufort, Fish. Indo-Austr. Archip., vol. iii, 
p. 332, text-figs. 159, 160 {sector). 

Snout less than postocular length of head. Eye about 10 in post- 
ocular length of head. Pectorals about equidistant from eye and 
vent. Dorsal commencing at a distance behind anal about equal to 
length of snout. 

Length. — Up to 594 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, with black specks. 

Locality. — South of Agulhas Bank, 560 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Middle Atlantic, Indo-Pacific Ocean, 600-1200 
fathoms. 

S. sector Garman is in all probability to be identified with beanii, 
an opinion expressed by both Gilbert and Brauer. S. sector is stated 
by Garman to have 144 vertebrae. 



A Monogra'ph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 201 

Fam. 9. Ophichthyidae. 
Serpent Eels. 

Body slightly compressed. Snout conical. Cleft of mouth moderate 
or large. Scales absent. Tongue adnate. Gill-slits separate. Lateral 
line well developed. Teeth in a single or in only a few series in both 
jaws and (usually) on vomer ; canines sometimes present. Nostrils 
labial, the anterior tubular. Vent far from head. Rays of vertical 
fins not enveloped in thick skin, occasionally entirely absent. Dorsal 
commencing well forward, sometimes on the head, not confluent 
with anal, the tip of the tail projecting freely, but without caudal fin. 
Pectorals present or absent. Frontals united into a single bone. 
Suspensorium vertical or directed obliquely forward. Palato- 
pterygoid present. Caudal vertebrae with transverse processes. 
Maxilla articulated with ethmoid near end of snout. 

A family of numerous species, most abundant in tropical seas. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Pectorals and vertical fins present. 

a. Lips not fringed ....... Ophichthys. 

b. Upper lip fringed . . . ■ . . . . Girrhimuraena. 

2. Pectorals and vertical fins absent ..... . Sphagebranchus. 

Gen. Ophichthys Ahl. 

1789. Ahl, De Muraena et Oph., p. 3. 

Pectorals present, rarely rudimentary. Vertical fins present. 
Teeth on vomer as well as on jaws. 

A large genus which has been subdivided with more or less satis- 
factory results. So far as the South African fauna is concerned any 
subdivision is entirely superfluous. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Cleft of mouth wide, extending well behind eye. 

A. Pectoral present. 

1. Teeth uniserial in lower jaw (Oxystomiis) . . . serpeiis. 

2. Teeth biserial in both jaws. 

a. Canines present in upper jaw {Mystriophis) . rosteUatus. 

b. All teeth subequal {Ophichthus) .... unkolor. 

3. Teeth triserial in both jaws ...... algoensis. 

B. Pectoral absent ........ kirkii. 

II. Cleft of mouth narrow, not extending behind eye .... apicalis . 



202 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Ophichthys serpents (Linn.). 

The Common Serpent Eel. 

1849. Smith, Illus. Zool. S. Afr. Fish., pi. vi {Leptorhynchus 
capensis). 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 77 (references). 

1917. Seale, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. Ixi, pt. 4, p. 84 
{serpentinus). 

Length of head (to base of pectoral) 3-4J in distance from gill-slits 
to vent. Tail not quite twice as long as body. Snout produced into 
a narrow point. Cleft of mouth half length of head, extending 2 
eye diameters beyond eye. Lips not fringed. Eye 2^3 in snout, 
slightly more than interorbital width. Teeth pointed, unequal, 
the anterior ones in jaws and on vomer canines, biserial (at least in 
posterior half) in upper jaw, uniserial on lower jaw and vomer (very 
frequently a short inner row right at the back of lower jaw). Dorsal 
commencing twice or rather more than twice length of pectoral 
behind base of pectoral, which is 5|-6 in length of head. Vertebrae 
208. (Plate IX, fig. 3.) 

Length.~Vip to 3000 mm. (10 ft.). 

Colour. — Light or dark brown above, silvery below ; vertical fins 
usually light, with dark margins. 

Locality. — Walfish Bay to Table Bay and False Bay to East London, 
shallow water. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean, Eastern Atlantic, Japan, Australia. 

Young specimens of this species are rather liable in one respect to 
be mistaken for 0. unicolor, because the inner row of teeth in the lower 
jaw extends at least half-way forwards ; the relative proportions of 
the head and body and extent of cleft of mouth will, however, at once 
distinguish the two species. 

Ophichthys rostellatus (Rich.). 
Rostellate Serpent Eel. 

1844. Richardson, Voy. Erebus and Terror, IchthyoL, p. 105. 

1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 56 (part). 

Length of head about 3 in distance from gill-slits to vent. Tail 
not twice length of body. Snout produced, flattened, apically 
rounded, constricted behind the apex (like a crocodile's snout). Cleft 
of mouth not half length of head, extending behind eye a distance 
subequal to length of snout. Lips not fringed. Eye 2|-3 in snout. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 203 

Teeth pointed, unequal, the anterior ones in jaws and on vomer 
canines, those at apex of upper jaw forming a transverse series, 
biserial in both jaws, the inner row smaller than the outer. Dorsal 
commencing immediately behind end of pectoral, which is 4 in length 
of head. 

Length. — Up to 1350 mm. 

Co^owr.— Brown above, pale beneath. 

Locality. — Walfish Bay. 

Distribution. — West coast of Africa. 

The single specimen in the South African Museum is stuffed and 
measures 1350 mm. It is the only record of this species in South 
Africa, or in fact south of the equator. 

Jordan and Snyder (1901, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxiii, p. 875) 
have already shown that the Japanese porphyreus Schleg. is not 
synonymous with the West African species. 

^Ophichthys unicolor Regan. 
Unicolourous Serpent Eel. 

1908. Regan, Ann. Natal Mus., vol. i, pt. 3, p. 250, text-fig. 1. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 78. 

Length of head 2^ in distance from gill-slits to vent. Tail nearly 
twice length of body. Snout pointed. Cleft of mouth about J length 
of head, not extending beyond posterior margin of eye. Lips not 
fringed. Eye not quite 2 in snout (according to description, a little 
more than 2 in the figure). Teeth pointed, subequal, biserial in both 
jaws and on vomer. Dorsal commencing a little way behind end of 
pectoral, which is f in length of head. 

Length. — Up to 260 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform brownish. 

Locality. — Algoa Bay, 40 fathoms. 

Type in the British Museum. 

I have seen no specimens other than the type in the British Museum. 

Ophichthys algoensis Brnrd. 

1923. Barnard, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. xiii, pt. 8, p. 444 {triserialis 
non Kaup). 

1925. Id., Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), xv. p. 498 {algoensis 
nom. nov.). 

Length of head 2J in distance from gill-slits to vent. Tail three- 



204: Annals of the South African Museum. 

quarters as long again as body. Snout conical, somewhat depressed. 
Cleft of mouth moderate, not extending beyond hind margin of eye. 
Lips not fringed. Eye 2 in snout, subequal to interorbital width. 
Teeth pointed, subequal, but largest in front of upper jaw, triserial 
on both jaws and on vomer. Dorsal commencing just behind end 
of pectoral, which is 4 in length of head. 

Length. — Up to 300 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform ; vertical fins light, with dark margins posteriorly. 

Locality. — Algoa Bay, 55 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

This specimen bears a very close resemblance to unicolor, which was 
also described from Algoa Bay. The difference in the teeth is indeed 
the only important distinguishing character, and a longer series may 
eventually prove that the number of rows of teeth is a variable 
character. There is only the one specimen of this form in the Museum 
collection. 

*Ophichthys kirki Gnthr. 
KirFs Serpent Eel. 

1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 89. 

1908. Regan, Ann. Natal Mus., vol. i, pt. 3, p. 243 (name only). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 302. 

Length of head 8-9 in distance from gill-shts to vent. Tail some- 
what longer than body. Snout pointed. Cleft of mouth moderate, 
extending some distance behind eye. Lips not fringed. Eye about 
in middle of cleft of mouth, 2 in snout. Teeth pointed, equal, 
uniserial. Dorsal commencing in advance of gill-slits. Pectorals 
absent. 

Length. — Up to 350 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform. 

Locality. — Kosi Bay, Zululand. 

Distribution. — Rovuma Bay, East Africa. 



Ophichthys apicalis (Benn.). 

Short-nosed Serpent Eel. 

1830. Bennett in Life of Raffles, p. 692. 

1864. Bleeker, Atl. Ichthyol. Muraen., pp. 57, 52, pi. xiv, fig. 1 ; 
pi. XV, fig. 4 {banko and diepenhorsti). 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 205 

1870. Giinttier, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 70 (references). 

1916. Weber and de Beaufort, Fish. Indo-Austr. Archip., vol. iii, 
p. 305, text-fig. 145 (dentition). 

Length of head 2^ in distance from gill-slits to vent. Tail half as 
long again as body. Snout short, bluntly conical. Cleft of mouth 
extending to, but not beyond, hind margin of eye, about 4 in length 
of head. Upper lip with one or two minute papillae, but not fringed. 
Eye 2 in snout, 1| in interorbital width. Teeth pointed, subequal, 
uniserial in both jaws, biserial on vomer. Dorsal commencing just 
behind root of pectoral, which is 2J-2f in length of head. 

Length. — Up to 460 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform brownish, lighter beneath ; fins light. 

Locality. — Coast of Natal and Zululand, shallow water. 

Distribution. — Indian, East Indian, and Chinese seas. 



Gen. CiRRHiMURAENA Kaup. 

1856. Kaup, Cat. Apod. Fish., p. 27. 

Similar to Ophichthys, but with the upper lip fringed with barbels. 

An Indo-Pacific genus. 

Cirrhimuraena playfairi (Gnthr.). 
Playfair's Serpent Eel. 

1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 76. 

Length of head 3J-4 in distance from gill-slits to vent. Tail twice 
or a little more length of body. Snout conical, projecting over lower 
jaw. Cleft of mouth moderate, 2§-3 in length of head, extending 
not quite 2 eye diameters behind eye. Upper lip fringed. Eye 2h 
in snout, subequal to interorbital width. Teeth subgranular, equal, 
in narrow bands, triserial in the jaws, 5-serial on vomer. Dorsal 
commencing about midway between angle of mouth and gill-slits. 
Pectoral 4 in length of head. 

Length. — Up to 620 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform, lighter below. 

Locality. — Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — Zanzibar. 

This species does not seem to have been observed since Giinther 
described it. I have examined the type in the British Museum and 
find one or two discrepancies in the figures given in the original diag- 



206 Annals of the South African Museum. 

nosis. There is no doubt, however, that the Delagoa Bay specimen 
is conspecific. 

Gen. Sphagebranchus B1. 

1795. Bloch, Ausl. Fische., vol. ix, p. 88. 

Both vertical fins and pectorals entirely absent, the former repre- 
sented by mere ridges. Gill-slits ventral, or sub ventral, converging 
or subparallel, close together. Snout projecting. Mouth small. 
Tongue free only at its extremity. Teeth uniserial in both jaws and 
on vomer. 

A genus of small, shallow-water marine or estuarine species. 



Sphagebranchus acuticeps Brnrd. 

1923. Barnard, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. xiii, pt. 8, p. 444. 

Body cylindrical. Depth of body 4^ in length of head. Length 
of head a little over 3 in distance from gill-slits to vent. Tail only a 
very little longer than rest of body. Cleft of mouth 3 in length of 
head. Snout pointed, projecting, 4|-5 in head. Branchiostegal 
membranes rather swollen. Eye about in middle of cleft of mouth, 
well developed but small, about 4 in snout, subequal to interorbital 
width. Gill-clefts longitudinal, parallel, subequal in length to snout. 
Teeth rather large, pointed, lancet-shaped, recurved, uniserial, 15 in 
upper jaw, 12 on vomer and on lower jaw, 3 in a triangle in front of 
upper jaw, the vomerine series extending back beyond tip of tongue, 
which is free. 

Length. — Up to 188 mm. 

Colour. — Brown ; eyes black. 

Locality. — Off mouth of Tugela River, Natal coast, 37 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

Very like 0. orientalis McClell, but without any trace of dorsal or 
anal rays. The anal ridge is distinct ; the position of the dorsal 
is marked in the posterior quarter by a low ridge, and in anterior 
three-quarters by a shallow groove which commences above the 
anterior ends of the gill-slits. 

Muraenoid Series (Engyschistae). 

The internal openings into the gullet are narrow slits. Tongue 
absent. Opercular bones reduced. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 207 

Fam. 10. MURAENIDAE. 

Morays. 

Body more or less compressed. Snout conical. Cleft of mouth 
usually large. Skin thick, leathery. Tongue absent. Scales absent. 
Gill-slits small, roundish, lateral. Lateral line obsolete. Teeth 
strong, conical or obtuse, in one or more series in both jaws and on 
vomer. Nostrils superolateral, the anterior tubular, the posterior 
with or without a tube. Vent far from head. Body longer than tail. 
Dorsal and anal fins embedded in thick skin, confluent around tail, 
sometime^ greatly reduced or present only at end of tail. Pectorals 
absent. Frontals paired. Palato-pterygoid almost vestigial. Caudal 
vertebrae with transverse processes. 

A large family of temperate and tropical forms especially numerous 
in regions of coral reefs. They are often of large size and brilliant 
coloration, and their strong dentition and pugnacious temperament 
necessitates careful handling when they are captured. 

The teeth are often very variable and especially so at different 
stages of growth. Young specimens usually have more series of teeth 
than adults. The large teeth in front of the upper jaw frequently 
get pushed out from the centre into the outer row in adults. Too 
much reliance, therefore, must not be placed upon this character in 
identifying single specimens. 

The typical genus Muraena {M. helena of the Mediterranean), 
characterised by having well-developed fins, conical teeth, and both 
pairs of nostrils tubular, is not represented in our fauna. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I, Vertical fins well developed and conspicuous. 

A. Teeth mostly conical. 

1. Tail not greatly longer than body. . . . Gymnothorax. 

2. Very elongate. Tail twice length of body . . Thyrsoidea. 

B. Teeth mostly blunt ........ Echidna. 

II. Vertical fins greatly reduced, visible only at end of tail . . Gymnoimiraena. 

Gen. Gymnothorax B1. 

1795. Bloch, Ausl. Fische., vol. ix, p. 83. 

Vertical fins well developed. Tail about as long as body. Eye 
about in middle of cleft of mouth. Teeth mostly conical. Posterior 
nostril not tubular. 

This genus comprises the majority of the Morays. 



208 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Although the species hitherto recorded from South Africa are few 
and comparatively easy to identify {undulatus and flavomarginatus 
causing the most difficulty), as time goes on other species of this large 
genus will most certainly be discovered. Many of the species are very 
difficult to separate on account of the great variability in coloration 
and pattern. The remarks made on the teeth under the family must 
also be borne in mind in comparing specimens with the following 
descriptions. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Teeth in upper jaw biserial for greater part of jaw. Well-defined whitish 
spots. 

A. Small irregularly arranged spots ...... meleagris. 

B. Larger spots in 4 series ....... stellifera. 

II. Teeth in upper jaw uniserial (occasionally one or two in an inner row anteriorly). 

A. No teeth on vomer. Well-defined white spots posteriorly nudivomer. 

B. Teeth on vomer. 

1. Well-defined polygonal or round black spots . . favagineus. 

2. Irregular mottling, reticulation or vermiculation. 

a. Without weU-marked canines . . . . pictus. 

b. With well-marked canines. 

i. GiU-slit not in a black spot . . . undulatus. 

ii. Gill-slit in a black spot. . . flavomarginatus. 

Gymnothorax meleagris (Shaw). 
Spotted Eel or Moray. 

1864. Bleeker, Atl. Ichthyol., vol. iv, p. 97, Muraen., pi. xxxiv, 
fig. 2 {chloro stigma). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 304 (references). 

Length of head 2|-3 in distance from gill-slit to vent. Tail rather 
longer than rest of body. Eye 2\ in snout, 1^ in interorbital width. 
Snout 2\ in cleft of mouth, which is almost half length of head. Mouth 
not completely closing. Teeth biserial in upper jaw, uniserial in lower 
jaw and on vomer, depressible canines in front. Vertebrae 120. 

Length. — Up to 570 mm. 

Colour. — Dark brown, with innumerable tiny white (in spirit) dots 
about the size of a pin's head, rather widely spaced on tail and becom- 
ing more thickly set on body and extending all over head, snout, and 
lower jaw. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 

Three similar specimens in the South African Museum, two of which 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 209 

served as a basis for Gilchrist and Thompson's description in Ann. 
S. Afr. Mus., vol. xi, pt. 2, p. 53, 1911. The above description is 
taken from these specimens and differs slightly from that usually 
given ; e.g. most authors except Bleeker say the mouth can be com- 
pletely closed. The white dots also are considerably smaller than is 
implied in other descriptions and in Bleeker's figure. In fact, the 
resemblance in all respects is very close to Giinther's description 
(Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 101) of flavopicta, except that in 
that species the head is reticulated with dark lines. It also bears 
considerable superficial resemblance to punctata (Bl. Schn.) (see Day, 
Fish. Ind., p. 669, pi. clxxiii, fig. 1), but is distinguished by the biserial 
teeth in the upper jaw. 

*Gymnothorax stellifera (Rich.), 
Pearl- spotted Moray. 

1844. Richardson, Voy. Erebus and Terror, Fish., p. 86. 

1864. Bleeker, Ned. Tydschr. Dierk., vol. ii, p. 53 {margaritophorus). 

1864. Id., Atlas Ichthyol., vol. iv, p. 97 ; Muraen., pi. xxxi, fig. 1 
(idem). 

Length of head 2|-2| in distance from gill-slit to vent. Tail a little 
longer than rest of body. Eye If in snout. Snout 2 in cleft of mouth, 
which is 3 in length of head. Mouth not completely closing. Teeth 
uniserial in both jaws and on vomer, except for an inner row of 4-5 
in upper jaw, canines strong. 

Length. — Up to 150 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, with 4 regular longitudinal series of pale bluish 
spots about the size of the eye, sometimes a brown interrupted stripe 
from eye to gill-slit. 

Locality. — Zululand coast. An example from Kosi Bay is in the 
British Museum. 

Distribution. — Madagascar and East Indies. 

Gymnothorax nudivonier (Gnthr.). 

1866. Giinther, Fish. Zanzibar, p. 127, pi. xviii. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 305 (references). 

Length of head nearly 3 in distance from gill-slit to vent. Tail 
a little longer than rest of body. Eye nearly 3 in snout. Snout 5|, 
cleft of mouth nearly 3 in length of head. Mouth completely closing. 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 14 



210 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Teeth uniserial on both jaws, the anterior ones serrated, 2-3 additional 
teeth in front of jaws not markedly canine, no vomerine teeth. 

Length. — Up to 908 mm. 

Colour. — Head and front part of body white, with small brown spots 
and lines, hinder part of body, tail, and fins brown, with white ovate 
spots, larger than eye, more or less closely set or even confluent. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa. 

GymnotJiorax favagineus Bl. Schn. 
Tessellate Moray. 

1845. Richardson, Voy. Sulphur, Ichthyol., p. 108, pi. xlviii, 
fig. 1 ; and pi. Iv, figs. 5-8 {tessellata and isingteena). 

1864. Bleeker, Alt. Ichthyol., vol. iv, pp. 92, 93 ; Muraen., pi. xxvii, 
fig. 3, pi. xxviii, fig. 1, pi. xxxvii, fig. 1 (tessellata and isingteena). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 303 (references). 

Length of head 2f in distance from gill-sUt to vent. Tail about 
equal to rest of body. Eye 2^-2| in snout, If -2 in interorbital width. 
Snout 2| in cleft of mouth which is 2^ in length of head. Mouth 
completely closing. Teeth uniserial in both jaws and on vomer, 
depressible canines in front. (Plate IX, fig. 4.) 

Length. — Up to 1170 mm. 

Colour. — Whole body with large polygonal or roundish black 
blotches, with narrow intervening reticulations of white or yellowish 
ground colour. The pattern is continued over the lips on to the floor 
and roof of the mouth. 

Locality. — Port Alfred and Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 

The largest specimen in the Museum (1170 mm.) has a double row 
of teeth on the vomer. 

*Gymnothorax pictiis (Ahl). 
Ocellate Moray. 

1789. Ahl, De Muraen. Ophichth. in Thunb. Dissert., vol. iii, p. 6, 
pi. ii, fig. 2. 

1864. Bleeker, Atl. Ichthyol., vol. iv, p. 87 ; Muraen., pi. xxvi, 
figs. 3, 4, pi. xxviii, fig. 3, pi. 29, fig. i, pi. xlv, fig. 3. 

1864. Id., ibid., p. 96, pi. xxx, fig. 3 [polyophthalmus^ juv. pictus). 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 211 

1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 116 (references). 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 672, pi. clxxii, fig. 4. 

1905. Jordan and Evermann, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., 1903, 
vol. xxiii, pt. 1, p. 103, pi. xix (references). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 305 {jpolyojphthalmus). 

Length of head 2f in distance from gill-slit to vent. Tail about 
as long as body. Eye 2| in snout. Cleft of mouth nearly 3 in length 
of head. Teeth uniserial, without well-marked canines, the vomerine 
series usually bifurcate anteriorly with short and blunt teeth. 

Length. — Up to 250 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish with innumerable very small black spots more 
or less confluent into larger spots, often with indistinct series of light, 
black-edged ocelli which, however, are more conspicuous in the young 
{polyophthalmus) . 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 

*Gymnothorax undulatus (Lacep.). 
Undulate Moray. 

1803. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, pp. 629, 644. 

1844. Richardson, Voy. Erebus and Terror, Fish., p. 87, pi. 46 
{cancellatus) . 

1864. Bleeker, Atl. Ichthyol., vol. iv, p. 93 ; Muraen., pi. xxxii, 
fig. 3, pi. xxxiii, fig. 2, pi. xxxix, fig. 1 {cancellatus). 

1864. Id., ibid., p. 95, pi. xli, fig. 2 {agassizi). 

1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 110 (references 
and synonymy). 

1878-88. Day, Fish. Ind., p. 671, pi. clxxi, fig. 5, pi. clxxiii, 
fig. 2. 

1905. Jordan and Evermann, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., 1903, 
vol. xxiii, pt. 1, p. 98, pi. xvi (references). 

Length of head 2| in distance from gill-slit to vent. Tail a little 
longer than body. Eye 1^ in snout. Snout 2| in cleft of mouth, 
which is a little over 2 in length of head. Mouth completely closing. 
Teeth uniserial, with sometimes an inner series of 2 in upper jaw, 
depressible canines in front. Vertebrae 132. 

Length. — Up to 900 mm. 

Colour. — Dark brown, very variously speckled, reticulated or 
undulated with yellowish lines, more or less forming vertical or 



212 Annals of the South African Museum. 

cancellate bands, gill-slit not in a black spot, fins without light 
edging. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution.— Indo-Vaci&c. 

Gymnothorax flavomarginatus (Riipp.). 
Yellow-edged Moray. 

1864. Bleeker, Atl. Icbtbyol., vol. iv, p. 95, pi. xxxii, fig. 2 ; 
pi. xxxiv, fig. 3 ; pi. XXXV, fig. 2 [javanicus). 

1905. Jordan and Evermann, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., 1903, vol. 
xxiii, pt. 1, p. 99, pi. xvii. 

1917. Gilclirist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 303 (references). 

Length of head 2§-3 in distance from gill-slit to vent. Tail a little 
longer than rest of body. Eye l|-2 in snout. Snout 2\ in cleft of 
mouth, which is 2\ in length of head. Mouth completely closing. 
Teeth uniserial, the vomerine series bifurcated anteriorly, depressible 
canines in front. 

Length. — Up to 900 mm. 

Colour. — Light or yellowish brown, densely marbled with darker, 
head and end of tail black, sometimes {javanicus) with well-defined 
black spots more or less in series, vertical fins usually with yellow 
margin, gill-slit in a black spot. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 

Gen. Thyrsoidea (Kaup), Blkr. 

1856. Kaup, Cat. Apod. Fish., p. 73. 

1864. Bleeker, Atl. IchthyoL, vol. iv, p. 110. 

Very elongate. Vertical fins well developed. Tail twice as long 
as body. Eye conspicuously nearer end of snout than angle of 
mouth. Teeth conical and subequal. Posterior nostril not tubular. 

The elongate form, with the tail twice as long as the body, distin- 
guishes this genus from Gymnothorax. 

"^Thyrsoidea macrurus (Blkr.). 

Long-tailed Moray. 

1864. Bleeker, Atl. IchthyoL, vol. iv, p. Ill ; Muraen., pl.xxii, fig. 2. 
1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 304 (references). 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 213 

Length of head 4 in length of body to vent. Tail twice as long as 
body, eye small, 2-3 in snout. Snout 3 in cleft of mouth, which is 
3 in length of head. Teeth biserial in the jaws, uniserial on vomer, 
subequal. 

Length.— JJip to 3000 mm. (10 ft.). 

Colour. — Uniform dark brown, margins of fins black. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 



Gen. Echidna Forster. 

1788. Forster, Enchiridion hist, nat., p. 81. 

Vertical fins as a rule well developed. Tail about as long as body. 
Eye about in middle of cleft of mouth. Teeth mostly blunt, tuber- 
cular or molariform, in bands or plates. Posterior nostril not tubular, 
situate between the eyes. 

The blunt teeth will at once distinguish the members of this genus. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. 26-29 narrow light bands on a dark ground ..... polyzona. 

2. Two more or less distinct longitudinal series of dark dendritic spots on a light 

ground ........... nebulosa. 

Echidna polyzona (Rich.). 
Banded Moray. 

1845. Richardson, Voy. Sulphur, ZooL, p. 112, pi. Iv, figs. 11-14. 

1864. Bleeker, Atl. IchthyoL, vol. iv, p. 81 ; Muraen., pi. xxiv, 
fig. 3. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 306 (references). 

Length of head 3| in length of body to vent. Tail about as long as 
body. Eye If in snout, IJ in interorbital width. Vertical fins 
distinct. Mouth completely closing. Teeth uniserial in upper, 
biserial in lower jaw, the front ones rather pointed, 4-5 series of 
molars on vomer, forming a broad oval crushing-plate. 

Length. — Up to 500 mm. 

Colour. — -Brown, with 26-29 white or yellowish transverse bands 
from behind eye to tip of tail, not as a rule exceeding in width the 
diameter of eye ; angle of mouth brown. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 



214 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 

E. fascigula Peters, 1855, from Mozambique, seems to be only a 
variety with dark longitudinal lines on sides of throat, and the trans- 
verse bands reduced to a few at end of tail. 

Echidna nebulosa (Ahl). 
Clouded Moray. 

1864. Bleeker, Atl. Ichthyol., vol. iv, p. 80 ; Muraen., pi. xxiv, 
fig. 2 {variegata). 

1905. Jordan and Evermann, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., 1903, 
vol. xxiii, pt. 1, p. 110, pi. i (coloured). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 305 (references). 

Length of head 4| in length of body to vent. Tail about as long as 
body. Eye 2 in snout and in interorbital width. Vertical fins 
distinct. Mouth completely closing. Teeth biserial or uniserial on 
both jaws, in 2-4 longitudinal series on vomer, the front ones sub- 
conical. Vertebrae 122. 

Length. — Up to 520 mm. 

Colour. — White or yellowish, with 26-30 black-brown transverse 
bands each more or less divided up to form two longitudinal series of 
stellate or dendritic blotches containing one or more small yellow 
spots, more or less numerous small dark spots between the bands, 
anterior nostril and iris yellow-orange. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 

Gen. Gymnomdraena Lacep. 

1803, Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, p. 648. 

Vertical fins absent (either visible only on dissection or completely 
absent) except a small rudimentary one around the extremity of the 
tail. Tail usually about as long as or distinctly longer than body. 
Eye about in middle of cleft of mouth. Teeth pointed, subequal, in 
one or more series. Posterior nostrils with or without a tube, situate 
between the eyes. 

Lacepede (Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, p. 648) recognised two species 
in this genus Gymnomuraena : doliata and marmorata. The former 
has since been transferred to Echidna, but because doliata has line 
precedence and, therefore, might be regarded as the geno-type, there 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 215 

is no reason why Gymnomuraena should be rejected. The genotype 
becomes marmorata and Uropterygius, instituted by Riippell for 
concolor, becomes a synonym. Bleeker is of this opinion, but American 
writers reject Gymnomuraena and accept Uropterygius. Further, 
Jordan and Snyder (1901) propose the genus Scuticaria for those 
species having the posterior as well as the anterior nostril tubular. 
In view of the fact that some species of Gymnomuraena have a raised 
rim around the posterior nostril, which varies in conspicuousness, and 
consequently the distinction between a well-developed raised rim and 
a short tube may vary according to individual definition, the necessity 
for the genus Scuticaria seems doubtful. At the most, it can only 
be accorded subgeneric rank. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Posterior nostril not tubular [Gymnomuraena). 

a. Uniform brown ......... concolor. 

b. Brown, vermiculated with black, tail fin yellow . . xanthopterus. 

2. Posterior nostril tubular (Scuticaria) ..... tigrinu.i. 



^Gymnomuraena concolor (Riipp.). 
Brown Finless Moray. 

1835. Riippell, Neue Wirbelt, Fische, p. 83, pi. xx, fig. 4. 

1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 134. 

1917. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 5, p. 458 (locality). 

Length of head 4 or a little more in length of body to vent (according 
to Riippell's figure). Tail slightly longer than body. Snout 5| in 
length of head. Eye about 2 in length of snout. Teeth biserial in 
jaws, uniserial on the vomer. Posterior nostril not tubular (Giinther). 

Length. — Up to 500 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform brown. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 

^Gymnomuraena marmorata Lacep. 

Marbled or Yellow-tailed Finless Moray. 

1803. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, p. 650. 
1826-30. Lesson, Voy. Coq., Poiss., vol. ii, p. 131, pi. xiii {pan- 
therinus). 



216 A7inals of the South African Museum. 

1864. Bleeker, Atl. Ichthyol., Muraen., p. 113, pi. xxxi, fig. 3. 

1864. Bleeker, Atl. Ichthyol., Muraen., pp. 114, 115, pi. xxi, 
fig. 2 ; pi. XX, fig. 4 ; pi. xx, fig. 2 {macrocejphalus, xanthopterus, 
micropterus). 

1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 133. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 674, pi. clxxii, fig. 5. 

1919. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 4, p. 197 {xanthopterus). 

Length of head 4^ in length of body to vent, 9-10 in total length. 
Tail slightly longer than body. Snout 5 in length of head. Ey3 
about 2 in length of snout. Teeth biserial in jaw, uniserial on vomer. 
Posterior nostril not tubular. 

Length. — Up to 800 mm. 

Colour. — Dark purplish brown, marbled and vermiculated with 
black, iris blue, caudal fin more or less bright yellow. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 

Gymnomuraena tigrina (Less.). 
Spotted Finless Moray. 

1829. Lesson, Mem. Soc. d'Hist. Nat. Paris, vol. iv, p. 399. 

1830. Id., Voy. Coquille, Zool., vol. ii, p. 129, Atl. Poiss., pi. xii. 
1864. Bleeker, Atl. Ichthyol., Muraen., p. 113, pi. xxi,' fig. 3. 
1905. Jordan and Evermann, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., 1903, pt. 1, 

p. 112, pi. xxii. 

Body slightly compressed. Length of head 6^ in length of body to 
vent, 13-13| in total length. Tail distinctly longer than body. 
Snout elevated, with a rather prominent median ridge, 7 in length 
of head. Eye small, about 2| in snout and in interorbital width. 
Cleft of mouth 3^ in length of head. Teeth in 2 series (at least 
anteriorly) in both jaws, in a single series on vomer. Posterior nostril 
tubular. 

Length. — Up to 1050 mm. 

Colour. — Yellowish brown, with large and smaller, irregularly round, 
black, yellow-edged spots, snout and mandibles with small spots. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distrihidion . — Indo-Pacific. 

A specimen in the South African Museum evidently belongs to this 
species, but has a very short tail, only § length of the body ; conse- 
quently while the length of the head is 13 in the total length, it is 
8| in the body. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 217 

LARVAL FORMS. 

The larval forms present an appearance so different from adult eels 
that for long they were thought to be independent fishes and were 
placed in the genus Leptocephalus . Their true nature, however, has 
now been proved beyond any doubt, and, in addition to the original 
genus, three others have been instituted. 

The common characters of all the larvae are as follows : body 
elongate, ribbon- or leaf-shaped, very strongly compressed, the 
muscle-segments or myomeres showing as zigzag lines ; head small, 
with large eyes, which are frequently telescopic, the jaws each with a 
single series of strong but deciduous teeth, dorsal and anal fins feeble, 
confluent with caudal, pectoral also feeble ; whole animal except the 
eyes and a few minute pigment specks perfectly transparent. 

During the course of metamorphosis of the larval into the adult 



d 
Fig. 13. — Leptocephalus capensis Kaup, the larva of the Cape Lesser Conger, 
Congermuraena australis Brnrd. d, digestive canal ; v, vent. 

form, the body becomes shorter and more cylindrical, opaque and 
pigmented, the tail increases greatly in proportion to the trunk, the 
eyes if telescopic become sessile and normal, and the larval teeth are 
replaced by the single or multiple adult series. 

A large number of larval forms has been described, but only a few 
have been definitely identified with the adult form. For purposes 
of identification, one of the most important characters is the number of 
myomeres, which corresponds with the number of vertebrae in the 
adult, and which has been found to be constant within certain reason- 
ably narrow limits of variation for each species. 

In referring to the various larval forms it is customary to give the 
generic name, and where the larva cannot be identified with a 
particular adult form, to add a specific name. Where the adult is 
known, however, the whole name of the adult, in the genitive case, 
is added to the generic name of the larva. 

In the case of the South African specimens of Leptocephalus, which 
cannot be correlated definitely with the adult, I have preferred to 
indicate the different forms with a letter rather than to add to the 
already large number of specific names. 



218 Ajinals of the South African Museum. 

The generic forms of the larvae may be distinguished as 
follows : — 

1. Segments less than 250 ....... Leptocephalus. 

2. Segments more than 250. 

a. Eye normal. 

i. Snout short, teeth strong ...... Tilurus. 

ii. Snout elongate, rostrate, teeth absent or minute . Tilurella. 

b. Eye telescopic ........ Tiluropsis. 

As our knowledge of these peculiar larvae increases, it may be found 
unnecessary to retain the four generic names. Several adult genera 
in various families have a Leptocephalus larva. Tilurella has been 
considered with good reason to be the larva of Nemichthys. But the 
adults of Tilurus and Tiluropsis still remain uncertain. A form with 
the upper jaw strongly projecting is supposed to be the larva of 
Nettastoma and has been named Hyoprorus. 

Up to the present only Leptocephalus forms have been found in 
South African waters. 

Key to the South African forms of Leptocephalus. 

I. Segments rounded above and below lateral line . Synaphobranchi pinnati. 
II. Segments angular above and below lateral line. 

A. Segments less than 200. 

1. Segments 150-160 ...... Congri vulgaris. 

2. Segments 130-140 .... Congermuraenae australis. 

3. Segments 120-130 Species A. 

B. Segments more than 200 .... Ophichtkyidis serpentis. 

Although no forms have yet been found in South African waters 
which can be assigned to the genus Anguilla, it may be useful to 
indicate here the number of myomeres in the North Atlantic species. 

Anguilla vulgaris {Leptocephalus brevirostris) . Length 75 mm. 
Segments 110-120 (preanal 68-74, postanal 42-46). 

Anguilla chrysipa {Leptocephalus grassi). Length 65 mm. Seg- 
ments, 103-113. 



^Leptocephalus Synaphobranchi pinnati. 
Larva of Synaphobranchus pinnatus. 

1913. Lea, Sc. Ees. ]\Iichael Sars Exp., vol. iii, p. 14, pi. ii, figs. 1-4 
and text-figs. 5-9. 

Larva : elongate, tapering evenly at both ends. Total length up 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 219 

to about 107 mm., postanal portion about f-s? depth about yVj-yV 
of total length. Segments 102-108+42-49=144-157, semicircular 
above and below lateral line. About 15 teeth in both jaws (fully 
grown). Very transparent except for an opaque whitish stripe along 
lateral line (at least in preserved specimens). 



Leptocephalus Congri vulgaris. 
Leptocephalus morrisii, Gmel. 
Larva of the Common Conger. 

1902. Eigenmann, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., vol. xxi. 

1912. Schmidt, Vidensk. Med. Nat. For. Kopenhagen, vol. Ixiv 
(1913), p. 40, pi. iii, figs. 1, 2. 

1913. Lea, Sci. Res. Michael Sars Exp., vol. iii, pt. 1, p. 20. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 80 {L. morrisii 
Gmel.). 

Larva : elongate, tapering evenly at both ends. Total length up 
to 160 mm., postanal portion about }-\, depth about yV^tt *-*^ total 
length. Segments 123-125+30-35=155-159, angularly bent above 
and below lateral line. About 30 teeth in upper jaw (fully grown), 
20 in lower. A series of pigment specks along upper margin of 
alimentary canal, another series of rather large spots along lateral 
line, minute specks at bases of anal and caudal rays. 

One very large specimen, apparently just about in the initial stage 
of metamorphosing, seems to be this species. 180 mm. Vent about 
in middle of length, height 20 mm. Segments 62+ca. 92=154. 
Nostrils separate. Teeth obsolete in upper jaw, 2 series, very 
minute, in lower jaw. Tongue free. All traces of pigment have 
disappeared. There are no data attached showing where or when 
the specimen was taken. (S.A.M., No. 12826). 

Leptocephalus Congermuraenae australis. 

Leptocephalus capensis Kaup. 

Larva of the Cape Lesser Conger. 

1856. Kaup, Apod. Fish., p. 153 {capensis). 

Larva : elongate, tapering evenly at both ends. Total length up 
to 133 mm., postanal portion about ^-|, depth about yV-tt- ^^§' 
ments 100-111+26-36=130-137, angularly bent above and below 
lateral line. 



220 



Annals of the South African Museum. 



A series of pigment specks along alimentary canal and bases of 
anal rays, but no other pigment visible. 

The following specimens form the basis of the above descrip- 
tion : — 



S.A.M. 

No. 


J "Sj 




i 

s 


§ 6b 
urn 




Total. 


Locality. 


Date. 










Leptocephalus Stage. 






mm. 


mm. 


mm. 












12818 


53 


9 


7 


104 


26 


130 


E. London, 400 fms. . 


17/4/01 


12817 


88 


13 


8 


105 


30 


135 


Struys Bay, 42 fms. 


28/8/02 


14683 


97 


12 


9 


100 


34 


134 


Cape Point, 85 fms. 


9/02 


12813 


108 


14 


11 


110 


27 


137 


,, ,, ,, 


8/9/02 


12815 


123 


15 


10 


111 


27 


137 


„ 131 fms. . 


28/3/00 


13091 


133 


20 


12 


100 


36 


136 


Sea Point Beach 


1 










Metamorphosing. 




12814 


100 


32 


11 


80 


56 


136 


36° 40' S., 21° 26' E., 
200 fms. 


17/6/06 


12823 


75 


43 


5 


50 


88 


138 


Cape Infanta, 44 fms. . 


13/7/00 


12824 


84 


50 


5 


45 


90 


135 


Sandy Point, 51 fms. . 


14/8/01 



It is reasonable to identify these larva with the form named, but 
inadequately described, by Kaup. 

That it is the larva of Congermuraena australis seems probable 
from the agreement in the number of vertebrae and muscle 
segments. 

Schmidt (Vidensk. Medd. Naturh. Forenig., vol. Ixiv, p. 45, 1912) 
states that Stromman (Leptoceph., Univ. Mus., Upsala, 1896) mentions 
a form from the South Atlantic (35° 40' S., 18° 45' E.) which seems to 
be very closely allied to the larva of C. mystax. Although I have 
not seen Stromman's paper, the form he refers to is evidently the same 
as the ones here assigned to C. australis, which, as stated above in 
the description of the adult, is closely allied to C. mystax. 



Leptocephalus Ophichthidis serpentis. 
Larva of the Serpent Eel. 

1883. Bellotti, Atti Ital. Nat. Milan, vol. xxvi (quoted from Lea, 
Sci. Res. Michael Sars Exp., vol. iii, pt. 1, p. 7 (1913). 

Larva : elongate, tapering evenly at both ends ; total length 
100 mm., length from snout to vent 50 mm., depth 9 mm. Segments 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 221 

90 + 120=210, angularly bent above and below lateral line. Teeth 
16 in upper, 14 in lower jaw. Dorsal and anal fins abruptly shortening 
at base of caudal, the rays of which project as a blunt point. 

The metamorphosing stage : total length 95-110 mm., depth 
3-75-5 mm. Segments 94 + 116, 92 + 121, 86+120=206-213. Rays 
of caudal projecting as a blunt point, but somewhat reduced, the 
extremity bearing a very distinct resemblance to the shape found in 
the adult. 

Colour. — Eight dark spots, composed of aggregations of stellate 
specks, along the ventral line, the first below the gill-slits, the anal 
fin, and usually a speck in each muscle segment at the lateral line ; 
indications of 6 dark spots between vent and end of tail just below 
lateral line. 

One larva found at Dyer's Island (Agulhas Bank) in August 1919, 
and 3 metamorphosing specimens cast up on beach at Muizenburg 
(False Bay) in April 1917. 

I find no other reference to the larva of the Serpent Eel except that 
given above. Bellotti's paper I have not seen, but Lea gives the 
number of segments as 208. As the forms above described have a 
corresponding number, I have identified them as the larvae of this eel. 
In support of this there is the similarity in the caudal extremity and 
the fact that the metamorphosing specimens were washed up on the 
shores of False Bay, in the shallow waters of which locality this eel is 
very common. 

^ Leptocephalus Nettastomatis. 

The larva of the Mediterranean species N. nelanurum has been 
described under the following names and may be cited here for the 
sake of comparison : — 

Hyoprorus mes sinensis, KoUiker, Verh. Ph. Med. Ges. Wurzburg, 

vol. iv, p. 101, 1854. 
Kaup, Apod. Fish., p. 144, fig. 4, 1856. 

Leptocephalus longirostris, Kaup, ibid., p. 150, figs. 14, 14fl. 

The larva is deep in proportion to its length (length 65 mm., height 
18 mm.), and the dorsal and ventral profiles rise very abruptly behind 
the head. Posterior end tapering to an acute point. Snout rather 
long, about twice diameter of eye. 

The metamorphosing form (Hyoprorus) is of the same shape, but 
the snout is longer and the larval series of teeth are replaced by those 
of the adult. 



222 



Annals of the South African Museum. 



The following specimens in the South African Museum collection 
are not as yet referable to adult species. 

Species A. 
Leptocephalus Stage. 



S.A.M. 

No. 


It 

o a 


14 




Sec 


CM 


Total. 


Locality. 


Date. 




mm. 


mm. 


mm. 












12819 


77 


27 


10 


70 


58 


128 


Gt. Fish Point, N.xK 
3 mis., 40 fms. 


5/9/01 


12816 


96 


30 


8 


70 


55 


125 


C. Morgan, N. | W., 13 
mis., 250 fms. 


8/7/06 


12821 


65 


28 


6 


56 


70 


126 


Algoa Bay, 39 fms. 


27/9/01 



Rows of pigment specks along alimentary canal and bases of anal 
rays. This form bears considerable resemblance to spinocadux Lea 
1913, but the vent is further back, the postanal length being 3 in total 
length instead of less than 2\. 

Young Eel Stage. 



S.A.M. 

No. 


It 
o c 


.J^ "So 

o § 


•SP 

■33 

K 


c . 

d bC 


$, bb 

PM 


Total. 


Locality. 


Date. 


16233 
15664 


mm. 
60 

82 


mm. 
38 
50 


mm. 

3-75 

5 


33 
36 


90 
92 


123 
128 


Struvs Point, 49 fms. . 
Off Nahoon R., 45 fms. 


17/7/02 
10/7/01 



Length of head equal to distance between gill-slits and vent. 
Tail If as long as rest of body. Dorsal commencing above middle of 
pectoral. Teeth in narrow bands (in the smaller specimen the 
maxillary and mandibular teeth are uniserial), no canines, vomerine 
band extending nearly to tip of the free tongue. Eye lj-l| in snout, 
4-5 in length of head. Cleft of mouth extending to below anterior 
third of eye. Snout overlapping lower jaw. 



Species B. (Young Eel). 

S.A.M. 12820. Length 72 mm., postanal length 45 mm., height 
2 mm. Segments 40 + 104=154. Teeth in narrow bands, vomerine 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 223 

band long, no canines. Dorsal commencing just behind pectoral. 
Tail If as long as rest of body. Length of head twice in distance from 
gill-slits to vent. Eye about 9i in length of head. Cleft of mouth to 
below hind margin of eye. Tongue not free. 

This slender specimen may be a very young Muraenesox cinereus ; 
the number of segments agrees exactly with the number of vertebrae 
given for the adult, but the teeth have not the distinctive characters 
of those of the adult. As regards the teeth it might be a species of 
Ophichthys, but the dorsal and anal fins are confluent with the caudal 
around the end of the tail. 



Tilurella Nemichthydis scolopacei. 
Larva of Nemichthys scolopaceus. 

1919. Roule, Res. Sci. Camp. Monaco, fasc. 52, p. 108, pi. vii, 
figs. 1, 2. 

Larva : Exceedingly elongate, head with long beak-like snout. 
Total length about 250 mm., height about -^jj of total length. Post- 
anal length about ^ of total length. Segments about 215+115=330, 
angular above and below lateral line. Jaws without teeth. Perfectly 
transparent, without pigment. The " Hemi-larva " (Roule) has 
58+about 308=366 segments, the vent thus being in the anterior 
quarter of the body. Jaws with minute teeth. 

Only 5 specimens have hitherto been captured : S.W. of the Azores 
and off Monaco. 



Division 5. INIOMI. 

1911. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. vii, p. 120 (structure 
and classification). 

Physostomous. Fins without spines. Ventrals abdominal (or 
thoracic). Pectoral usually low down. Adipose dorsal usually 
present. Premaxilla excluding the maxilla from the upper margin 
of mouth. Gill-openings wide. Shoulder girdle attached to skull 
by a forked post-temporal. Mesocoracoid absent. Air-bladder 
small or absent. Ovaries with oviducts. 

This division is to a large extent composed of deep-sea forms. 
Ichthyologists are not yet entirely in agreement as to what limits 
and families should be assigned to it. Regan's arrangement is here 
followed. 



224 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Key to the South African families. 

I. Dorsal about in middle of body or anterior. 

A. Pectorals lateral. Caudal well developed, free from anal (Mi/ctophoidea). 

1. No definite photophores on body. 

a. No supramaxilla ...... Synod ontidae. 

b. One supramaxiUa ...... Sudidae. 

2. Definite photophores on body .... Myctophidae. 

B. Pectoral low down. Caudal well developed, free from anal (Alepi- 

sauroidea). 

1. Dorsal fin short. 

a. Ventral not very small ..... Scopelarchidae. 

b. Ventral very small ..... Omosudidae. 

2. Dorsal fin very long ...... Alepisauridae. 

C. Pectoral lateral. Caudal reduced, united with anal (Ateleopoidea) 

AteUopoidae. 

II. Dorsal far back, opposite anal. No adipose fin . . . Cetomimidae, 



Fam. 1. Synodontidae. 

Body with cycloid scales, extending on to postorbital part of head. 
No supramaxilla, maxilla slender and united to premaxilla. Bands 
of curved teeth on both jaws and palate. Branchiostegals 11-17. 
Pectoral lateral. Adipose fin sometimes absent. Photophores 
absent. No air-bladder. 

The shallow-water representatives of this family have been named 
Lizard-fishes, from aavpvs, a lizard. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Scales of the lateral line not larger than the others. Adipose fin present. 

a. Two bands of teeth on each side of palate .... Saurida. 

b. One band of teeth on each side of palate. 

i. Snout equal to or longer than ej'^e ..... Synodus. 
ii. Snout shorter than eye .... Trachinocephalus. 

2. Scales of the lateral line much larger than the others. Adipose fin (in the South 

African species) absent ....... Bathysaurus. 

Gen. Saurida C. and V. 

1849. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xxii, p. 499. 

Body cylindrical, elongate. Cleft of mouth very wide. Teeth 
slender, depressible, in bands on both jaws, palatines, and tongue ; 
those on palatines in 2 bands, the inner much shorter than outer. 
Eyes moderate, partly covered by adipose eyelids. Dorsal short, in 



PLATE IX. 

■FIG. 

1. Coiigertnuraena albescens Brnrd. (original) . 

2. Muraenesox cinereus (Forsk.) (original) 

3. Ophichthys seiyetis (Linn.) (original) . 

4. Gymnothorax favagineus Bi. Schn. (after Day^ 

5. Synodus indicus Day (after Day) 

6. Bathypterois ater Gilcli. (after Gilchrist) 

7. Myctophum humboldti (Risso) (original) 



TEST-PAGE 

189 
197 
202 
210 
227 
234 
243 



Ann. S. Air. Mus., Vol. XXJ. 



Rate IX. 








A'eiU tt Co. , fAd. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 225 

middle of body. A small adipose dorsal opposite the short anal. 
Ventral 9-rayed , the inner rays not much longer than outer. Branchio- 
stegals 13-16. Pseudobranchiae well developed. A more or less 
conspicuous ridge along caudal part of lateral line. 

Key to the South African species. 

U 

1. Scales : 1.]. 54-63 ; l.tr. — tumbil 

1 

2. Scales : 1.1. 50-52 ; l.tr. — . . . . . . . . gracilis. 

Saurida tumbil (Bl.). 
Lizard-fish. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 504, pi. cxvii, fig. 6. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 307. 

1918. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 2, p. 76 {undosquamis}. 
1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 55 {undosquamis). 
Body subcylindrical, somewhat depressed anteriorly. Depth 7-9, 

length of head 4J-4|, in length of body. Eye subequal to snout and 

to interorbital width, 4|-5 in length of head. D 11, 2nd ray longest ; 

A 10-11 ; P 14-15, shorter than postorbital part of head, and 

4i 
reaching to 10th scale of lateral line. Scales : 1.1. 54-63 ; l.tr. -^. A 

conspicuous ridge along caudal portion of lateral line. 

Length. — Up to 420 mm. 

Colour. — ^Brownish, mottled with darker, silvery below ; pectorals, 
dorsal, and caudal more or less dotted with black; ventrals occasionally 
dark. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 22-191 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific to Australia. 

'"^Saurida gracilis (Q. and G.). 

1824. Quoy and Gaimard, Voy. de I'Uranie, Zool., p. 224. 

1849. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xxii, p. 504 
(nebulosa). 

1913. Weber and de Beaufort, Fish. Indo-Austr. Archip., vol. ii, 
p. 143, fig. 53, and p. 149, fig. 55 (young). 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320 (nebulosa). 

VOL, XXI, PART 1. 15 



226 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Body subcylindrical, slightly depressed. Depth 5^-7, length of 

head 4J-5, in length of body. Eye shorter than snout, 4-5| in length 

of head. D 11 ; A 9-10; P 12-13, shorter than postorbital part 

of head, reaching to 9th scale of lateral line. Scales : 1.1. 50-52 ; 

3* 
l.tr. -^. An inconspicuous ridge along caudal part of lateral line. 
6 

Length. — Up to 300 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, more or less marked with irregular dark patches 

or crossbands, silvery below ; fins with dark patches or bars. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific to Australia. 



Gen. Synodus (Gronov.) Bl. and Schn. 
(=:^Saurus Cuv.). 

1801. Bloch and Schneider, Syst. Ichthyol., p. 396. 

Body cylindrical, elongate. Head depressed. Snout equal to or 
longer than eye. Cleft of mouth very wide. Teeth slender, in bands 
in both jaws, palatines, and tongue ; those on palatine in a single 
band. Eye moderate, without or with very narrow adipose eyelids. 
Dorsal short, about in middle of body. A small adipose dorsal 
opposite the short anal. Ventral 8-rayed, the inner rays much 
longer than the outer. Branchiostegals 12-16. Pseudobranchiae 
well developed. 



Key to the South African species. 



5-6 

1. Scales: I.l. 60-64; l.tr . . . . . . varieaatus. 

10-11 "^ 

31 

2. Scales : 1.1. 55-57 ; l.tr. — ........ indicus. 



Synodus variegatus (Lacep). 
Variegated Lizard-fish. 

1913. Weber and de Beaufort, Fish. Indo-Austr. Archip., vol. ii, 
p. 14, fig. 54 (references). 

1918. Eegan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 2, p. 76 (varius). 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320 (varius). 

Body and head depressed. Depth 6, length of head 3^-4, in length 
of body. Eye with very narrow eyelids, subequal to interorbital 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 227 

width, 11 in snout, 5-7 in length of head. D 12, A 8-9, P 12-13. 

5-6 

Scales: 1.1. 60-64; l.tr. ; predorsal 19-20. 

10-11 ^ 

Length. — Up to 240 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish or reddish, s\ith darker crossbands, yellowish 
below ; fins, except anal and ventrals, more or less conspicuously 
spotted. 

Locality. — Natal coast, Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific to Japan. 

Synodus indicus, Day. 
Indian Lizard-fish. 

1873. Day, J. Linn. Soc. Lond., Zool., vol. xi, p. 526. 

1878-88. Id., Fish. India, p. 503, pi. cxvii, fig. 4. 

1923. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 7. 

Body and head depressed. Depth 7-8, length of head 4-4|, in 

length of body. Eye without adipose eyelids, subequal to interorbital 

width, 11 in snout, 5f-6 in length of head. D 12, A 10, P 12-14. 

31 
Scales : 1.1. 55-57 ; l.tr. -^ ; predorsal 17. (Plate IX, fig. 5.) 

Length. — Up to 300 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, with bluish irregular spots, lighter below ; dorsal 
and caudal fins spotted. 

Locality. — Mossel Bay, Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indian seas. 

A single specimen from Mossel Bay agrees in all essentials with 
Day's description. Von Bonde gives D 13, A 9 for his Natal specimen. 

Gen. Trachinocephalus (Gill) J. and G. 

1851. Gill, Cat. Fish. E. Coast N. Amer., p. 53. 
1883. Jordan and Gilbert, Synopsis, p. 281. 

Close to Synodus : but body and head compressed, the latter large ; 
snout very short, blunt ; anal fin longer than dorsal. 

Trachinocephalus myops (Forst.). 

Blunt-nosed Lizard-fish. 

1875. Bleeker, Atl. Ichth. Saurida, pi. ii, fig. 3. 
1913. Weber and de Beaufort, Fish. Indo-Austr. Archip., vol. ii, 
pp. 145, 149 (young). 



228 Annals of the South African Museum. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 306 (references). 

Body and head compressed. Depth 4|-5|, length of head 3|-4, in 
length of body. Eye greater than interorbital width and snout, 
about 5 in length of head, with rudimentary adipose eyelids. D 12-13, 

31 
A 15-16. Scales: 1.1. 55-58; l.tr. -^ ; predorsal 17-18. 

6-7 ^ 

Length. — Up to 325 mm. 

Colour. — Golden brownish, with bluish wavy longitudinal stripes, 
silvery below ; scapula black, fins yellowish, dorsal spotted. 
Locality. — Natal and Zululand coast, 1-25 fathoms. 
Distribution. — Tropical Atlantic and Indo-Pacific. 



Gen. Bathysaurus Gnthr. 

1878. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 181. 

Body elongate, somewhat depressed. Head strongly depressed. 
Cleft of mouth very wide, lower jaw projecting. Teeth mostly 
depressible in bands in both jaws and in a single band on the outer 
margin of the palatine, a few teeth on tongue and gill-rakers. Dorsal 
in about middle of body. Adipose dorsal present or absent. Anal 
of moderate length. Ventral 8-rayed. Gill-openings very wide ; 
gill-membranes separate. Branchiostegals 11-12. Pseudobranchiae 
well developed. 

Bathysaurus ferox, Gnthr. 
Deep-sea Lizard-fish. 

1878. Gunther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 182. 
1883. Goode and Bean, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. x, p. 215 
(agassizii). 

1887. Gunther, Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 181, pi. xlvi, fig. A. 

1888. Vaillant, Exp. Sci. Trav. et Talisman, Poiss., pp. 139, 385, 
pi. X, fig. 1 (agassizii). 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., vii, 
p. 8. 

Depth 8|-9, length of head 3f-4, in length of body. Eye 1J-1| 
in interorbital width, 2|- in snout, 6^7 in length of head. D 18, 
1st ray very short and easily overlooked, 2nd half length of 3rd which 
is longest. No adipose dorsal. A 11-12. Scales : 1.1. 72-74. 
Scales of the lateral line much larger than the other scales, of which 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 229 

there are about 120 transverse series, each scale with 2 large 
pores. 

Length. — Up to 662 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, ventral surface darker ; mouth and branchio- 
stegal membrane purplish. 

Locality. — Of! Cape Point and Table Bay, 600-1400 fathoms. 

Distribution. — East coast of New Zealand, N. Atlantic, 984-1100 
fathoms. 

Two specimens agreeing in all respects with Giinther's description. 

Fam. 2. Sudidae. 

Maxilla dilated behind, with (usually) a single supramaxilla. Teeth 
in bands or a single series in jaws and usually on palatines ; vomerine 
teeth when present forming 2 well-separated patches. Eyes well 
developed, or reduced, or even absent. Dorsal short. Pectoral 
lateral. Adipose fin sometimes absent. Photophores absent (except 
a special organ in Ipnops). No air-bladder. 

A family of deep-sea fishes. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Ventrals below dorsal ...... Chlorophthalmus. 

II. Ventrals in front of dorsal. 

A. None of the fin rays prolonged. 

1. Eyes present . . ..... Bathysauropsis. 

2. No eyes, but large paired phosphorescent organ. No adipose fin 

IpTiops. 

B. Upper pectoral rays very prolonged .... Bathypterois. 

Gen. Chlorophthalmus Bonap. 

1840. Bonaparte, Fauna Ital., fasc. 28. 

Body cylindrical, elongate. Scales more or less pectinate, arranged 
in very regular oblique rows. Head compressed. Eyes well de- 
veloped, lateral. Maxilla long, posteriorly dilated. Teeth minute 
in bands on jaws, palatine, vomer, and tongue. Dorsal short, in front 
of middle of body. Adipose dorsal present. Anal short. Pectoral 
lateral. Ventrals 9-rayed, close together, behind origin of dorsal. 
Vent close behind ventrals. Gill-openings very wide. Branchio- 
stegals 8-10. Pseudobranchiae well developed. 

The genus derives its name from the very large yellowish pupil of 
the eye in preserved specimens. 



230 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Chlorophthalmus punctatus Gilch. 
Punctate Yellow-eye. 

1904. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 15, pi. xxxv. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., vii, 
p. 7. 

Depth 6^-6f, length of head Sf, in length of body. Eye not quite 

twice interorbital width, subequal to snout, 3 in length of head. D 12, 

its distance from snout 3 times in length of body ; V arising below 

middle of D ; A 9 ; P equal to its distance from tip of snout. Scales : 

5 . . 

1.1. 56 ; l.tr. — (to mid-ventral line ; 7 between 1.1. and origin of V). 

10 o ' 

Length. — Up to 80 mm. 

Colour. — Yellowish, with obscure dark blotches, rows of minute 
specks marking the oblique rows of scales. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 154 fathoms ; Natal coast and off 
Delagoa Bay, 175-240 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

This species is near to the N. Atlantic species chalybeius Goode. 
As, however, the descriptions of the latter and of agassizi given by 
various authorities differ in many respects, it is better to recognise 
the Cape form as a definite species for the present. 

Gen. Bathysauropsis Regan. 

1911. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. vii, p. 127. 

Like Chlorophthalmus, but: body more slender; head depressed; 
snout broadly rounded ; eyes well developed ; ventrals further apart 
and arising in front of origin of dorsal ; vent about midway between 
ventrals and anal. 

Bathysauropsis gracilis (Gnthr.). 

Flat-snouted Yellow-eye. 

1878. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 182. 
1887. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 194, pi. xlix, fig. A. 
1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 165. 
1911. Regan, loc. cit., p. 127. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 82 {Chlorophthalmus). 
1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., 
vii, p. 7. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 231 

Depth of body 1\ (adult) to 9 (juv.), length of head 3|-4, in length 

of body. Eye (horizontal diameter) § of snout, a little greater than 

interorbital width (which is greater than vertical diameter of eye), 

4|-5 in length of head. D 10-11, 1st ray unsegmented and almost 

spiniform, half length of 2nd; A 11 ; P 22-24, extending to hind 

end of D ; V (8)-9, the outermost rays covered with callous-like fleshy 

6 
skin in adults. Scales : 1.1. 58-60 ; 1. tr. -. Teeth well developed, 

premaxilla toothed right to its posterior end, vomerine bands separated 
in front, only a few small teeth on tongue. 

Length. — Up to 320 mm. 

Colour. — Purplish brown ; fins lighter. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point and Table Bay, 475-1220 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Pacific (off New Zealand and Juan Fernandez), 
S. Atlantic, 1100-1425 fathoms. 

The s.s. " Pieter Faure " took a considerable number of this species, 
the largest being considerably larger than the " Challenger " specimens. 



Gen. Ipnops Gnthr. 

1878. Gtinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 187. 

Body elongate, cylindrical. Scales large, deciduous. Head de- 
pressed, with spatulate snout. Eyes absent. Maxilla posteriorly 
dilated. Narrow bands of villiform teeth in both jaws, none on 
palatine or vomer (Gilchrist states that there is a small patch of 
teeth on the palatine in the Cape specimen). Dorsal short, in front 
of middle of body. No adipose dorsal. Anal short. Pectoral 
lateral. Ventrals 8-rayed in front of dorsal, not close together. 
Branchiostegals 12. Pseudobranchiae absent. Air-bladder absent. 
A pair of large luminous organs occupying the whole of the top of 
the head, covered over by 2 transparent membrane bones. 

This genus is noteworthy for the remarkable phosphorescent organ 
on the head. A second species, agassizi Garm. 1899, is known from 
the neighbourhood of the Galapagos Islands. 

*Ipno])s murrayi Gnthr. 
Murray's Lantern-fish. 

1878. Glinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 187. 

1887. /(/., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 191, pi. xlix, fig. B. 



232 Annals of the South African Museum. 

1887. Moseley, ibid., Append. A, p. 269, pis. Ixvii, Ixviii (structure 
of phosphorescent organ). 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 67, figs. 67, 68. 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 166. 

Depth of body 13i, length of head 6 (10-12 and 5 respectively 
according to the figures), in length of body. Lower jaw projecting. 
Maxilla extending beyond middle of length of head. D 10, A 13. 
Caudal rounded. Scales : 1.1. 55, lateral line very faint ; l.tr. 6. 

Length. — Up to 140 mm. 

Colour. — Brown ; mouth, branchial cavities, and lower side of 
head black. 

Locality.— 0& Cape Point, 800-900 fathoms. 

Distribution. — N. and S. Atlantic, East Indies, 955-2150 fathoms. 

Only a single specimen of this remarkable fish has been taken in 
Cape waters. It appears to have been lost, as it is not in the " Pieter 
Faure " collection. 

Gen. Bathypterois Gnthr. 

1878. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 183. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 64. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 143. 

1911. Eegan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. vii, p. 126. 

1919. Roule, Res. Sci. Camp. Monaco, fasc. 52, p. 35. 

Body elongate, somewhat compressed. Scales cycloid, adherent. 
Head depressed in front, lower jaw projecting. Eyes very small. 
Maxilla dilated posteriorly. Teeth in narrow villiform bauds on both 
jaws, a small patch on the vomer, none on palatine or tongue. Dorsal 
about in middle of body, of moderate length. Adipose fin present or 
absent. Anal short. Pectoral lateral, rays elongate, some of the 
uppermost rays greatly prolonged and separate from the rest of the 
fin. Ventrals 8-rayed, close together ; outer rays more or less pro- 
longed. Caudal forked. Gill openings very wide. Branchiostegals 
12. Pseudobranchiae absent. Air-bladder absent. 

A genus of several species, not always very clearly defined. As 
Brauer (1906) remarks, a revision of the genus is much wanted. Since 
then Regan (1911) has added the genus Hemipterois (for B. guentheri 
Alck.) without taking into account Goode and Bean's (sub)-genus 
Synapteretmus, and Roule (1919) has instituted Belonepterois (also 
for B. guentheri) without mentioning Regan's genus. Under these 
circumstances I assign both the Cape species to Bathypterois in its 
wide sense. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 233 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Lower caudal rays prolonged. 

a. Ventral large, reaching to extremity of anal .... filiferus. 

b. Ventral not reaching extremity of anal ..... capen.iis. 

2. Lower caudal rays not prolonged. Ventral not reaching to extremity of anal 

ater. 

Bathypterois filiferus Gilch. 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 166, pi. xlviii. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., 
vii, p. 7. 

Depth of body 6, length of head 3f-4, in length of body. Inter- 
orbital width subequal to snout, 2|-2f in length of head. Teeth on 
vomer very minute. D 12, nearer to base of caudal than to tip of 
snout. Adipose fin present. A 8-9, arising below last dorsal ray. 
P 2+2+11-13, the 2 uppermost rays separating opposite adipose 
fin, the uppermost nearly twice length of body ; 2 small axillary 
rays ; the remaining rays reaching to end of anal (not caudal as in 
Gilchrist's description). V reaching nearly to base of caudal, 2 
outermost rays prolonged beyond the others for a distance about 
equal to depth of body, dilated at their extremities. Caudal with 2 
lowest rays shortly produced and apically dilated. No notch at base 

7 
of caudal fin on lower margin. Scales : 1.1. 55-57 ; 1. tr. -. 

6 9 

Length. — Up to 300 mm. (to end of longest caudal ray). 
Colour. — Brownish ; branchial cavity purplish. 
Locality. — Off Cape Point and Table Bay, 600-1400 fathoms. 
Type in South African Museum. 

'^Bathypterois capensis G. and v. B. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., 
vii, p. 8, 2)1. ii, fig. 1. 

Depth of body 7|, length of head 4|-, in length of body. Inter- 
orbital width subequal to snout, 2^ in length of head. D 14, nearer 
to base of caudal than to tip of snout. Adipose dorsal present. 
A 8, arising just behind vertical from last dorsal ray. P 2+12, the 2 
uppermost rays separating opposite base of caudal, the uppermost 
nearly twice length of body ; other rays reaching to middle of dorsal. 
V reaching to end of anal, the 2 outermost rays prolonged beyond 
the rest by about the depth of the body and apically thickened. 



234 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Caudal with the 2 lowermost rays shortly produced and apically 
dilated. Apparently no notch below caudal. Scales : 1.1. 48. 

Length.— Vip to 200 mm. 

Colour. — Presumably brownish. 

Locality.— OS. Table Bay, 1220 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 



*Bathypterois ater Gilch. 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 167, pi. xlix. 

Depth of body 6, length of head 5^, in length of body. Interorbital 

width shorter than snout, 2^ in length of head. D ? (14 in figure), 

a little nearer to base of caudal than to tip of snout. Adipose dorsal 

present. A ? (8 in figure), arising below last ray of D. P 2+8, the 2 

uppermost separating opposite adipose fin, the upper H times length 

of body ; no axillary rays ; the remaining rays reaching to middle of 

anal. V reaching to end of anal, 2 outermost rays shortly produced 

beyond the others and slightly thickened apically. Caudal with 

2 lowest rays slightly swollen, but not produced. A notch on lower 

margin of tail at base of caudal fin. Scales : 1 (in figure : 1.1. ca. 66 ; 

5 
l.tr. -). (Plate IX, fig. 6.) 
8 

Lengtli. — Up to 150 mm. 

Colour. — Presumably dark brown or black. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 900 fathoms. 

Type lost. 

Only one specimen of this species was obtained. It is no longer 
in the " Pieter Faure " collection, and I am therefore unable to 
supplement the rather inadequate original description. 

The species has affinities with atricolor Alck. and indicus Br. from 
the Indian Ocean. 



Fam. 3. Myctophidae. 

Body compressed, with scales. Maxilla either enlarged behind, 
with supramaxilla, or slender and united with premaxilla. Teeth on 
both jaws and palate, small or minute, in bands ; vomerine teeth 
when present forming 2 well-separated patches. Dorsal short or 
moderate. Pectoral lateral. Photophores only exceptionally absent, 
arranged in definite groups and series. Air-bladder sometimes present. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 235 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Maxilla extending beyond eye. Anal with more than 15 rays. 

A. Photophores in definite groups ..... Myctophum. 

B. A minute photophore under each scale . . . Scopelop-sis. 
II. Maxilla not extending beyond eye. Anal with less than 15 rays Neoscopelu-s. 



Gen. Myctophum Eaf. 
(==ScoPELUS Cuv.). 

1810. Rafinesque, Indice d' Ittiol. Sicil., p. 56. 

Body compressed. Scales more or less deciduous, cycloid, or 
denticulated. Maxilla extending beyond hind margin of eye, pos- 
teriorly dilated. Minute villiform teeth in bands in both jaws, and 
on vomer, palatine, pterygoid, and tongue. Dorsal moderate. Adi- 
pose dorsal present. Anal rather long, more than 15 rays, arising 
below posterior rays of dorsal. Gill-membranes free. Pseudo- 
branchiae present. Branchiostegals 8-10. Air-bladder small. Photo- 
phores arranged in definite groups. 

This complex genus has given a lot of trouble to systematists, owing 
to the difficulty of subdividing its numerous species. The most 
natural basis of classification seems to be the position of the luminous 
organs, which was first utilised by Liitken (1892, Spolia Atlantica) 
and later by Brauer (1906, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1). 
This system has been followed by Weber and de Beaufort (1913, 
Fish. Indo-Austr. Archip., vol. ii), and it will be convenient to adopt 
the same system for the comparatively small number of South African 
species. 

In order to shorten the descriptions, it is customary to define the 
various groups into which the photophores are aggregated by means 
of letters. The following diagram, based on Brauer, will render the 
terminology intelligible. The 2 opercular and 3 branchiostegal 
photophores are always present, so that these are not mentioned in 
the descriptions. There are three types of photophore (fig. C.) : 
round and undivided ; round and divided by a horizontal black 
septum ; and small kidney-shaped. Luminous scales (fig. A) are 
thick, whitish, overlapping scales on the upper and lower margins 
of the caudal peduncle and sometimes on other parts of the body. 
Luminous plates (fig. B) are shiny, whitish patches or spots, situate 
in the same positions on the tail, but distinguished from the scales 
not only by their appearance, but by the fact that they are only present 
on sexually mature individuals. They are usually found on the dorsal 



236 



Annals of the South African Museum. 



margin in the male, on the ventral in the female, and thus form an 
easy means of distinguishing the sexes. 




Fig. 14. — Diagrams to show : A, the terminology of the groups of photophores in 
Myctophum ; B, two forms of luminous plates ; C, three types of photophore. 
Br. Branchiostegal. YD. Ventral. Pre. Precaudal. 

Op. Opercular. VLO. Supraventral. a. Antorbital. 

PLO. Suprapectoral. AO. Anal. l.p. Luminous plates. 

PVO. Infrapectoral. SAO. Supra-anal. l.s. Luminous scales. 

PO. Pectoral. Pol. Postero-lateral. 



Key to the South African species. 
I. Photophores not divided by a black septum. 

A. Infra- and supra-caudal luminous scales (subgen. Lampanydus). 

1. Luminous organs circular. 

a. Pre 3-4. 

i. Pol 2 . . . . . . . warmingi. 

ii. Pol 3. 

a. D shorter than A . . . . procerum 

p. D longer than A . . . . elongatum. 

b. Pre 5 ....... argenteum. 

2. Luminous organs kidney-shaped. 

a. Pectoral short, scarcely reaching ventral . . nigrum, 

h. Pectoral very long, reaching anal .... alatum. 

B. No luminous scales (subgen. Myctophum). 

1. Maxilla reaching vertical from hind margin of eye, strongly expanded. 

a. Pol absent ...... antarctium. 

b. Pol one. 

i. A 20-21. 1.1. 38. SAO in a straight line phengodes. 
ii. A 17-18. 1.1. 34. SAO in a curved line . pterotum. 

c. Pol 2 ..... . benoiti reinhardti. 

2. Maxilla reaching beyond hind margin of eye, slightlj' expanded. 

a. Snout not projecting over lower jaw. 

i. SAO forming a right angle . . . humboldti. 

ii. SAO forming a very oblique curved line . hians. 

b. Snout projecting over lower jaw. 

i. D in front of middle of body. PO photophores equi- 
distant from one another . . . coccoi. 
ii. A behind middle of body. PO at unequal distance apart 

rarum. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 237 

II. Photophores divided by a black septum. 

A. No luminous patches ...... [subgen. Diaphus]. 

B. Infra- and supra-caudal luminous patches . [subgen. Lampadena]. 
No examples of the last 2 subgenera have yet been found in South African waters. 



Subgen. Lampanyctus Bonap. 

1840. Bonaparte, Fauna Ital., fasc. 27. 

Photopliores not divided by a black septum, round or kidney- 
shaped. Infra- and supra-caudal luminous scales, sometimes also on 
other parts of the body. Pol 1-4, AO always in 2 groups, PLO always 
dorsal to the pectoral fin. Maxilla feebly dilated, extending beyond 
hind margin of eye. 



Myctophum [Lanvpanyctus] warmingi (Liitken). 

1892. Lutken, Spolia Afclantica, p. 259, fig. 18. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 229, 
text-fig. 149. 

1911. Zugmayer, Res. Sci. Camp. Monaco, fasc 35, p. 34. 

Depth of body 4-5, length of head 3-3^, in length of body. Eye 
large, touching dorsal profile, twice length of snout, 3-4 in length of 
head. Median ridge on snout strong. D 13-14, arising in middle of 
body and about same level as ventral. A 13, origin below end of 
dorsal. Pectoral long, reaching to anal. Scales cycloid (all lost in 
South African Museum specimen) : 1.1. 36 (Zugmayer). Photophores 
round: PO 5; PVO 2, one above other; VO 4 ; AO 5-6 -f 4-5; 
PLO above dorsal ; PVO ; VLO, nearer lateral line than ventral ; 
SAO 3, in a nearly straight and nearly vertical line above last VO ; 
PO 2, one above other ; Pre 4, 4th on lateral line. Antorbital organ 
between eye and nostrils. Luminous scales precaudal, 3 dorsal, 
8-10 ventral, also along base of anal and dorsal, between ventrals 
and anal, on chest, and between dorsal and occiput. 

Length. — Up to 75 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Brownish. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 600 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Middle Atlantic, Indian Ocean. 

Of this species, which is closely allied to maderensis (Lowe) and 
guentheri (G. and B.), the South African Museum possesses a single 
specimen 37 mm. long. It has lost all the scales, but evidently agrees 
with warmingi except for the much more numerous luminous scales. 



238 Annals of the South African Museum. 

^Myctophum [Lampanyctus) procermn Brauer. 

1904. Brauer, Zool. Anz., vol. xxviii, p. 402, fig. 9. 

1906. Id., Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 231, 
text-fig. 157. 

Depth, of body 5|, length of head 3J, in length of body. Eye large, 
touching dorsal profile, subequal to interorbital width, 4| in length 
of head. D 17, arising a little in front of middle of body and behind 
V ; A 21, arising almost below middle of D. Scales cycloid : 1.1. 40. 
Photophores round, rather small: 3 on cheek; PO 2+4; PVO 2, 
one above the other ; VO 5, at same level ; AO 8 + 9 ; PLO, above 
dorsal PVO ; VLO, nearer lateral line than ventral fin ; SAO 3, in a 
nearly vertical line above the last VO ; Pol 3, above 8th AO ; Pre 4, 
first 3 near ventral profile, 4th near lateral line. Antorbital organ 
below level of nostrils. Luminoixs scales precaudal. 

Length. — Up to 22 mm. 

Colour. — ?. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 1000 fathoms (" Valdivia " Expedition). 

^Mycfophum {Lampanyctus) elongatum (Costa). 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 232, 
text-figs. 152-153 (references and synonymy). 

1911. Zugmayer, Res. Sci. Camp. Monaco, fasc. 35, p. 37. 

Depth of body 5, length of head 3§-34, in length of body. Eye 
large, touching dorsal profile, twice length of snout, 3|— 4 in length of 
head. D 21-24, arising in front of middle of body, at same level as V; 
A 17-19 arising below last third of D ; P reaching to V. Scales 
cycloid: 1.1. 39-40. Photophores round: PO 1+4; PVO 2, one 
above the other ; VO 5-6, at same level ; AO 8-10 + 6-7 ; PLO, above 
dorsal PVO ; VLO, nearer ventral than lateral line ; SAO 3, in a 
nearly vertical line above last VO ; Pol 3, above end of anal fin ; Pre 
3-4, first 2 near ventral profile. Antorbital organ dorsal to nostrils. 
Luminous scales precaudal and on other parts of body. 

Length. — L^p to 125 mm. 

Colour. — ?. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point. 

Distribution. — N. and ]\liddle Atlantic. 

Myctophum {Lampanyctus) argenteus (Gilch.). 
1904. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 15, pi. xxxvi. 
Depth of body 5, length of head 3^, in length of body. Eye large, 
touching (or almost) dorsal profile, twice length of snout, 4 in length 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 239 

of head. D 14, arising in front of middle of body and above ventral. 
A 15, arising below last ray of dorsal. P, low down, reaching base 
of ventral. Scales cycloid : 1.1. 38. Photophores round : PO 5, 
3rd above level of others, 5th on base of ventral ; PVO 2, horizontal, 
very close together, sometimes contiguous, immediately below base 
of pectoral; VO 5, in a curved line, 3rd highest; AO 7-8+5-6; 
PLO, vertically above base of pectoral and nearer to latter than to 
lateral line ; VLO, nearer ventral than lateral line ; SAO 3, in a 
straight oblique line, the lowest near the last VO ; Pol 1, close to last 
of anterior AO ; Pre 5, in a slightly curved row near ventral profile, 
the last one highest. Antorbital organ below nostril. Luminous 
scales precaudal, 3 dorsal and 3 ventral, and also along outer rays of 
caudal and base of dorsal and anal rays. 

Length. — Up to 70 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, brown above. 

Locality. — Off Saldanha Bay, Table Bay, and Cape Point, surface to 
315 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

Besides the type there are several other specimens of this species 
in the South African Museum, all showing constantly the 5 Pre 
and 2 contiguous or almost contiguous PVO photophores. These two 
characters render this species easily recognisable. 

^Myctophum [Lampanyctus) nigrum (Gnthr.). 

1887. Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 199, pi. lii, fig. B. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 242, 
text-fig. 159. 

Depth of body 4|^-5, length of head 3|^-3|, in length of body. Eye 
not very large, not touching dorsal profile, subequal to snout, 5-7 in 
length of head. D 13-15, arising in middle of body between V and A ; 
A 16-19 ; P short. Scales cycloid : 1.1. 35. Photophores kidney- 
shaped : PO 1+4; PVO 2, the upper in advance of lower, near 
upper corner of base of pectoral; VO 4; AO 6-8+7-10; PLO, 
above the dorsal PVO ; VLO, near lateral line ; SAO 3, in an oblique 
row ; Pol 2, oblique ; Pre 2, one above the other, the upper one 
near lateral line. Antorbital organ ventral to nostrils. Luminous 
scales precaudal only, 3-4 dorsal, 6-8 ventral. 

Le7igth. — Up to 112 mm. 

Colour. — Black. 

Locality. — Oft' Cape Point. 

Distribution. — Middle Atlantic, Indo-Pacific. 



240 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Myctophuni {Lampanyctus) alatum (G. and B.). 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. IchthyoL, p. 79, fig. 92. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt, 1, p. 244, 
text-figs. 161, 162. 

1911. Zugmayer, Res. Sci. Camp. Monaco, fasc. 35, p. 38. 

Depth of body 4J-5, length of head 3|— 3|-, in length of body. Eye 
large, touching dorsal profile, larger in S than $, 3^-4|- in length of 
head. D 11-14, arising before middle of body and behind V ; A 
15-18, arising below last third of dorsal ; P long, reaching to end 
of anal. Scales cycloid : 1.1. (32-33) 35-37. Photophores kidney- 
shaped : 1 on cheek ; PO 1 +4 ; PVO 2, upper in advance of lower ; 
VO 4 : AO 4-8+8-9 (usually 6-7+8-9) ; PLO, above dorsal PVO ; 
VLO, near lateral line ; SAO 3, in an oblique curved row ; Pol 2, 
oblique ; Pre 2, one above the other. Antorbital organ absent (?). 
Luminous scales precaudal only, 3-4 dorsal, 3-6 ventral. 

Length. — Up to 125 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Brownish. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point and East London, 300-800 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Middle Atlantic, Indian Ocean. 

The single photophore on the cheek is very characteristic of this 
species. 

Three fairly well-preserved adults and 2 juveniles in South African 
Museum. 

Subgen. Myctophum Raf. 

1810. Rafinesque, loc. cit. 

Photophores not divided by a black septum, always round. No 
luminous scales. Precaudal luminous plates present (in adult). 
AO in one or two groups. PLO often ventral to pectoral fin. Maxilla 
either reaching beyond hind margin of eye and feebly dilated, or reach- 
ing to hind margin of eye and strongly dilated. 

^Myctophutn {Myctophum) antarcticum (Gnthr.). 

1878. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 184. 

1887. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 196, pi. li, fig. D. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 168, 
text-figs. 82 a-c. 

Depth of body 3i, length of head 3i, in length of body. Eye large, 
touching dorsal profile, more than twice length of snout, 2^ in length 
of head. Maxilla reaching to or very slightly beyond hind margin 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 241 

of eye, strongly dilated. D 13-15, arising just in front of middle 
of body, behind ventral ; A 19-23, arising below middle of dorsal ; 
P, rather long, reaching to beginning of anal. Scales cycloid : 
1.1. 37-40. Photophores : PO 5 ; PVO 2, oblique, in front of base 
of pectoral ; VO 4 ; AO 16-19 ; PLO, in front of base of pectoral ; 
VLO, between ventral and lateral line ; SAO 3, in an oblique curved 
row ; Pol absent ; Pre 2, near ventral profile. Antorbital organs, 
one above and one below nostrils. Luminous plates, 7 dorsal in (S, 
5 ventral in $. 

Length. — Up to 61 mm. 

Colour. — ?. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 1500 fathoms. 

Distribution. — S. Atlantic, S. Indian, and Antarctic Oceans. 

Not recorded actually within our area, but so near (" Valdivia " 
Expedition, 31° 21' S., 9° 45' E.) that there is every possibility of its 
being found. 

Easily distinguished by the absence of the postero-lateral (Pol) 
photophore. 

Myctophum (Myctophum) phengodes (Liitken). 

1892. Liitken, Spolia Atlantica, p. 253, fig. 11. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 177, 
text-fig. 88. 

Depth of body 4-4^, length of head 3J-3|, in length of body. Eye 
large, touching dorsal profile, twice length of snout, 2J-3 in length 
of head. Maxilla reaching to hind end of eye, moderately dilated. 
Upper part of operculum striate, with serrated margin. D 12, 
arising in front of middle of body, at same level as ventrals ; A 20-22, 
arising at level of end of dorsal. Pectoral reaching origin of anal. 
Scales"^ cycloid : 1.1. 37-38. Photophores : PO 2+3 (or 1 + 4) ; PVO 2, 
oblique, in front of base of pectoral; VO 4; AO 6-8+7-9; PLO, 
above base of pectoral ; VLO, between ventral and lateral line ; 
SAO 3, in slightly oblique straight line ; Pol 1 on the lateral line ; 
Pre 2, the last one near lateral line. Antorbital organs, one above 
and one below nostrils. Luminous plates, dorsal in S, ventral in $. 

Length. — Up to 90 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Pale brownish. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, surface. 

Distribution. — N. and S. Atlantic, Indian Ocean. 

The single male specimen in the South African Museum has 8 dorsal 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 16 



242 Annals of the South African Museum. 

luminous plates. The striate and denticulate upper portion of the 
operculum is a feature which is not remarked upon by Brauer ; I 
have not seen Liitken's work. 



^Myctophum {Myctophum) pterotum (Alck.). 

1890. Alcock, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (6), vol. vi, p. 217. 

1899. Id., Illustr. Investigator. Fish., pi. ix, fig. 3. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 182, 
text-figs. 93, 94. 

1913. Weber and de Beaufort, Fish. Indo-Austr. Archip., vol. ii, 
p. 157. 

Depth of body 3^-4, length of head 3, in length of body. Eye 
large, touching dorsal profile, 2>\ times length of snout, 2f-3 in length 
of body. Maxilla reaching vertical from hind margin of eye, 
moderately dilated. D 11-13, arising in middle of body and behind 
ventral ; A 17-19, arising under last rays of dorsal ; P long, reaching 
to middle of anal. Scales cycloid : 1.1. (28-)34. Photophores : 
PO 5 ; PVO 2, nearly horizontal ; VO 4, the 2nd much above 
level of others ; AO 5-6+4-5 ; PLO, near lateral line ; VLO, nearer 
lateral line than ventral ; SAO 3, in a very oblique curved line ; Poll, 
on lateral line ; Pre 2, the last one near lateral line. Antorbital 
organ above nostril. Luminous plates, 3-4 dorsal in cj, none (?) in $. 

Length. — Up to 100 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery ; base of caudal and anal and upper rays of 
pectoral blackish (Weber and de Beaufort). 

Locality. — Ofi: Cape Point. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific Ocean. 

Myctophum {Myctophum) benoiti (Cocco). 
var. reinhardti Lutken. 

1892. Lutken, Spolia Atlantica, p. 257, fig. 16. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 185, 
text-figs. 96-101. 

1913. Weber and de Beaufort, Fish. Indo-Austr. Archip., vol. iii, 
p. 155, text-fig. 60. 

Depth of body 4-4|, length of head 3-3f , in length of body. Eye 
large, touching dorsal profile, twice length of snout, 3| in length of 
head. Maxilla reaching to vertical from hind margin of eye, moder- 
ately dilated. D 12-14, slightly before middle of body and behind 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 243 

ventrals ; A 18-20, arising below last rays of dorsal. Pectoral 
reaching to anal. Scales cycloid : 1.1. (?) ca. 40. Photophores : 
PO 5 ; PVO 2, very oblique, below level of pectoral ; VO 4 ; AO 
4-7+6-8; PLO, a little before and above base of pectoral; VLO, 
near but always below lateral line ; SAO 3, in an oblique, curved 
line ; Pol 2, forming an oblique line with the last of the anterior 
series of AO ; Pre 2, last on the lateral line. Antorbital organs 
dorsal and ventral to nostrils. Luminous plates, 1 dorsal in ^, 2-4 
ventral in $. 

Length. — Up to S 33 mm., ? 50 mm. 

Colotir (as preserved). — Dark brown. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point and S. of Agulhas Bank, surface to 200 
fathoms. 

Distribution. — Middle and S. Atlantic, Indo-Pacific Oceans. 

A large number of specimens in the South African Museum, all 
possessing a single dorsal luminous plate. 

Myctophum (Myctophum) humboldti (Risso). 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 192, 
text-figs. 108-111 (references). 

1911. Waite, Rec. Canterb. Mus., vol. i, pt. 3, p. 166, pi. xxvii, 
fig. 3. 

Depth of body 4f-5, length of head 3J-3|, in length of body. 
Eye large, touching dorsal profile, twice length of snout, 3-3-| m 
length of head. Maxilla extending beyond hind margin of eye, 
feebly dilated. Snout not projecting. D 13-15, arising in front of 
middle of body, at same level as ventrals ; A 20-23, arising below 
or just behind last ray of dorsal ; P, moderately long, not quite 
reaching to vent. Scales cycloid : 1.1. 40-42. Photophores : PO 5, 
last on base of ventral, at a higher level than the others ; PVO 2, 
oblique, below base of pectoral; VO 4 ; AO 7-9+4-9 (usually 
8+7-8) ; PLO, above base of pectoral; VLO, about midway between 
ventral and lateral line ; SAO 3, forming a right angle, the 2 
posterior ones above vent, the anterior one above the 2nd VO : 
Pol 1, near lateral line ; Pre 2, oblique, but both near ventral profile. 
Antorbital organs dorsal and ventral to nostrils. Luminous plates 
1-2 dorsal, 2-3 ventral, in both sexes. (Plate IX, fig. 7.) 

Length. — Up to 120 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery ; skin beneath scales brown. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point and East London, surface to 470 fathoms. 



244 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Bistribution. — Mediterranean, N.-S. Atlantic, Indo-Pacific Oceans, 
New Zealand. 

This species is easily identified by the 3 SAO photophores forming 
a right angle. There are several well-preserved specimens in the 
South African Museum. 

'^Mi/ctophum (Blyctophum) hians Rich. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 194, 
text-fig. 112 (references and synonomy). 

Depth of body 5, length of head 4-4|-, in length of body. Eye 
moderate, not touching dorsal profile, 1^ times length of snout, 3-3| 
in length of head. Maxilla extending beyond hind margin of eye, 
feebly dilated. Snout not projecting. D 12-13, arising slightly 
before middle of body and behind ventrals ; A 19-22, arising below 
last rays of dorsal ; P, moderate, reaching midway between ventral 
and vent. Scale cycloid : 1.1. ca. 41. Photophores : PO 5 ; PVO 
2, oblique, below base of pectoral; VO 4 ; AO 5-7+11-14; PLO, 
close to upper end of base of pectoral ; VLO, about midway between 
ventral and lateral line ; SAO 3, in a slightly curved and very oblique 
line ; Pol 1, near lateral line ; Pre 2, near ventral profile. Antorbital 
organs above and below nostrils. Luminous plates 5 dorsal or 5 
ventral (Liitken). 

Length. — Up to 50 mm. 

Colour. — ?. 

Locality. — Oft' Cape Point (" Valdivia " Expedition). 

Distribution.— Middle Atlantic and S. Indian Oceans. 

Mycto2:>hum {Myctophiim) coccoi (Cocco). 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 199, 
text-figs. 116-120 (references). 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 165. 

1913. Weber and de Beaufort, Fish. Indo-Austr. Archip., vol. ii, 
p. 158, text-fig. 61. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 83 (references). 

Depth of body 4|-5, length of head 4-4|^, in length of body. Eye 
moderately large, not touching dorsal profile, 1|- times length of 
snout, 3^4 in length of head. Maxilla extending beyond hind 
margin of eye, feebly dilated. Snout projecting over lower jaw. 
D 10-12, arising before middle of body and behind ventrals ; A 19-2] , 
arising below last rays of dorsal ; P, rather short, not reaching beyond 
end of ventral. Scales cycloid : 1.1. 39-41. Photophores : PO 5 ; 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 245 

PVO 2, oblique, below base of pectoral; VO 4 ; AO 4-8 + 9-14 
(usually 5-7+11-13) ; PLO, close to upper end of base of pectoral ; 
VLO, about midway between lateral line and ventral ; SAO 3, in an 
oblique curved line ; Pol 1, near lateral line ; Pre 2, near ventral 
profile. Antorbital organs above and below nostrils. Luminous 
plates 6-8 dorsal in S, 4-6 ventral in $. 

Length. — Up to 60 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, with blue or greenish sheen ; back (as preserved) 
dark brown. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point. 

Distribution. — Cosmopolitan. 

This very common species is represented in the South African 
Museum by a large number of specimens, all, however, from the one 
locality. 

^Myctophum {Myctophum) rarum (Liitken). 

1892. Liitken, Spolia Atlantica, p. 246, fig. 4. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 204, 
text-figs. 123, 124. 

Depth of body b\, length of head 4, in length of body. Eye 
moderate, not touching dorsal profile, li times length of snout, 3-3^ 
in length of head. Maxilla extending beyond hind margin of eye 
feebly dilated. Snout projecting over lower jaw. D 13, arising 
behind middle of body and ventral ; A 17, arising almost below 
middle of dorsal ; P reaching to ventral. Scales cycloid : 1.1. 38-40. 
Photophores : PO 5-6 (usually 6), at same level and more or less 
equidistant ; PVO 2, almost horizontal, below base of pectoral ; 
VO 2, 1st behind ventral, 2nd in front of vent ; AO 6-8+5-7 ; PLO, 
at upper end of base of pectoral ; VLO, nearer ventral than lateral 
line ; SAO 3, in a nearly vertical line ; Pol 1, near lateral line ; 
Pre 2, near ventral profile. Antorbital organs above and below 
nostrils. Luminous plate, 1 dorsal in S, none in $. 

Length. — Up to 29 mm. 

Colour. — ?. 

Locality.— 2>r 40' S., 12° E. (Liitken). 

Distribution. — North, Middle, and South Atlantic. 

Gen. ScoPELOPSis Brauer. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 146. 
Similar to Myctophum, but with a small photophore under each 
scale. Branchiostegals 9-10. Maxilla very feebly expanded pos- 



2i6 Annals of the South African Museum. 

teriorly. Pseudobrancliiae present. Scales with denticulate margin. 
Air-bladder well developed. 

Scopelopsis multipunctatus Brauer. 

1906. Brauer, loc. cit., p. 146, text-fig. 71. 

Depth of body 4|-5, length of head 3|-3f , in length of body. Eye 
nearly twice length of snout (adult), IJ in interorbital width, 3^-31^ 
in length of head. A median ridge on snout. Cleft of mouth extend- 
ing one eye diameter beyond hind margin of eye. D 21-22 ; A 23-25, 
arising below middle of dorsal ; P, reaching base of ventral, with the 
2nd uppermost ray prolonged, reaching to midway between base of 

3 

ventral and vent. Scales : 1.1. 37-38 ; l.tr. -. Photophores : one 

under each scale over the whole body, similar ones on the head, 
around the orbit, on lower jaw, branchiostegal membrane, isthmus, 
and caudal fin ; in adult there is further an elongate luminous patch 
on the upper margin of the caudal peduncle between the adipose fin 
and base of caudal fin. 

Length. — Up to 75 mm. 

Colour. — Dark brown ; fins lighter. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 800-1000 fathoms ; off Cape Morgan, 
480 fathoms. The British Museum has a specimen labelled from the 
Agulhas Bank. 

Brauer had only one very young specimen on which his description 
was based. I am able to add several other details from the dozen 
adult specimens collected by the s.s. " Pieter Faure." The luminous 
supracaudal patch is only found in adult males. 

Gen. Neoscopelus Jhnsn. 

1863. Johnson, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, p. 44. 

Body compressed. Scales large, deciduous, cycloid, but with minute 
spinules. Cleft of mouth not extending beyond eye. Maxilla 
strongly dilated posteriorly. Teeth in bands in both jaws, on vomer 
and palatine. Dorsal short. Adipose fin present. Anal short (less 
than 15 rays). Pectoral lateral, long. Ventrals below dorsal. 
Branchiostegals 8-9. Pseudobranchiae present. Air-bladder large. 

Neoscopelus macrolejpidotus Jhnsn. 

1863. Johnson, Proc. Zool. Soc, p. 44, pi. vii. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 93, figs. 108, 109. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 247 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 147, 
pi. xi, figs. 2, 3, text-figs. 72-76. 

1914. McCullocli, " Endeavour " Fishes, vol. ii, pt. 3, p. 90, lA. xvii. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 56. 

Depth of body 4-4|, length of head 3, in length of body. Eye 
subequal to snout, slightly greater than interorbital width, 4|-5 in 
length of head. Maxilla extending to below hind margin of eye. 
D 12-13, A 11-13. The first 4 rays in the dorsal, the first 3 in the 
anal, are almost spiniform and not branched. Scales : 1.1. 30-31 ; 

3 

l.tr. . (Gilchrist gives 1.1. 26; l.tr. 12.) Photophores : 1 on 

4-5 

preoperculum ; a marginal row on the tongue and a pair of large ones 
on its lower side at base ; 9 on isthmus ; a mid-ventral row from gill- 
opening to vent of 18-20, and 4-5 behind and of anal fin ; a lower 
lateral row of 8 (gill-opening to ventrals)+19 (ventrals to anal) ; a 
group of 3 large in front of, and 3-4 small ones behind, pectoral. 

Length. — Up to 240 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, with a more or less pronounced reddish sheen ; 
ventral surface violet, fins pinky red. 

Locality. — Off Cape Morgan and Natal coast, 174-290 fathoms. 

Distribution. — N. and S. Atlantic, Indo-Pacific, New Zealand, 
S. Australia, 200-1500 fathoms. 

Fam. 4. Scopelarchidae. 

Body cylindrical, more or less compressed. With or without scales. 
Snout short. Maxilla with small expansion in front, with a supra- 
maxilla. Teeth on both jaws and palate, unequal in size, depressible. 
Dorsal fin short. Adipose dorsal present. Pectoral lateral, but 
usually low down. Caudal well developed, forked. Eyes in vertical 
sockets, directed upwards and outwards. Branchiostegals 8. Pseudo- 
branchiae present. Gill-rakers small or absent. Photophores absent. 

This family of deep-sea fishes contains three genera : Scopelarchus 
Alck., Evermanella Fowler, and Dissomma Brauer. 

According to Regan, Neosudis Castln. may also belong to this 
family. Only one genus is represented in South African waters. 

Gen. Dissomma Brauer. 

1902. Brauer, Zool. Anz., vol. xxv, p. 278. 

Body strongly compressed. Snout conical. Probably with scales. 
Eyes lateral, but directed upwards. Cleft of mouth wide. Maxilla, if 



248 Annals of the South African Museum-. 

present, very small. Teeth on premaxilla, mandible, vomer, palatine, 
and tongue ; no canines on vomer. Dorsal in front of middle of body. 
Pectoral lateral, not very low down, with 19-20 rays. Gill-rakers small. 
Eoule (1919, Ees. Sci. Camp. Monaco, fasc. 52, p. 30) makes 
this genus a subgenus of " Odontostomus'' { — Evermanella), differing 
from the latter chiefly in the greater number of pectoral rays, and the 
strong canine teeth on the tongue. Eoule makes some rather dis- 
paraging remarks about Brauer's description, but himself fails to give 
the number of dorsal and anal rays in the new species instituted by him. 
From the figure the numbers appear to be tJie same as in Brauer's 
species, and in fact there appears to be no reason for a new species 
at all. 

'^Dissoimna anale Brauer. 

1902. Brauer, loc. cit. 

1906. Id., Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 138, 
pi. X, figs. 1, 2. 

1916. Weber and de Beaufort, Fish. Indo-Austr. Archip., vol. ii, 
p. 181, fig. 71. 

1919. Eoule, Ees. Sci. Camp. Monaco, fasc. 52, p. 32, pi. v, figs. 2, 
2a {perarmatus) . 

Depth of body 6-6|, length of head 4-4i, in length of body. Eye 
(vertical height) subequal to snout, 2|— 3 in length of head. Canines 
on premaxilla, mandible, and tongue. D 7, arising midway between 
bases of pectoral and ventral, or a little nearer latter ; A 25, arising 
midway between dorsal and adipose fin. Caudal deeply forked, the 
basal rays continued a long way along caudal peduncle. (Plate X, 
fig.l.) ^ 

Length. — Up to 83 mm. 

Colour. — Pale pinkish brown. 

Locality.— S. of Agulhas Bank (34° 31' S., 26° E.). 500 fathoms 
("' A-'aldivia " Expedition). 

Distribution. — Middle and S. Atlantic, Subantarctic, Indian Ocean. 

Fam, 5. Omosudidae. 

Body moderately elongate. Snout short. Maxilla large with 
triangular expansion in front, no supramaxilla. Teeth on both jaws 
and on vomer and palatine. Dorsal fin short. Adipose dorsal present. 
Pectoral lateral, but low down. Ventral very small. Caudal 
forked. Eyes lateral. Branchiostegals 8. Pseudobranchiae present. 
Gill-rakers short. Photophores absent. Stomach very distensible. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 249 

A family of a single genus, containing three small species, combining 
characters of both the Scopelarchidae and the Alepisauridae, bub 
differing from both in the structure of the pectoral arch (see Regan, 
loc. cit., 1911, p. 131). 

Gen. Omosudis Gnthr. 
1887. Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 201. 

'^Omosudis elongatus Brauer. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 140, 
fig. 68. 

1911. Zugmayer, Res. Sci. Camp. Monaco, vol. xxxv, p. 18, pi. i, 

fig- 6. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., 
vii, p. 7. 

Depth 6-7, length of head 3|^-4, in length of body. Tail elongate. 
Eye 2 in snout, 4 in length of head. Maxilla reaching to level of 
posterior margin of eye. D 9-10, A 24-26. Ventral rudimentary, 
below anterior ray of dorsal. 

Length. — Up to 30 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish or greyish, speckled ; sides with 2-10 patches of 
black pigment. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 600 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Subtropical Atlantic, Gulf of Guinea, and Indian 
Ocean, 600-1200 fathoms. 

Fam. 6. Alepisauridae. 

Body elongate, compressed. Skin naked. Lateral line (in fresh 
state) a gelatinous keel, bordered above and below by a series of 
pores. Snout pointed, produced. Dorsal formed by long slender rays 
extending nearly whole length of back. A small adipose dorsal. 
Pectoral on ventral profile. Maxilla with large triangular expansion 
in front, no supramaxilla. Teeth on both jaws and palatine unequal, 
compressed, immovable, none on tongue or vomer. Skeleton very 
feebly ossified. Pseudobranchiae large. Vent close behind ventrals. 
Air-bladder absent. Photophores absent. 

Gen. Alepisaurus Lowe. 

1833. Lowe, Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., p. 104. 

With the characters of the family. 

Several species of this genus have been described, but owing to the 



250 Annals of the South African Museum. 

extreme fragility of the body and fins, and the consequent difficulty 
of obtaining perfect specimens of these fishes, it seems unwise at 
present to recognise more than the one species. The specific identity 
of the only known South African specimen is not certain, though it 
is here assigned to the fairly well-known Madeiran species. 

As Lowe seems to have called his new genus Alepisaurus, this 
spelling must be accepted, though most authors alter it to " Alepi- 
dosaurusy Plagyodus Pallas (in MS. Steller, 1831) has also been used 
by some authors {e.g. Giinther), but according to Goode and Bean, 
"it is doubtful if it was originally used in the sense of a Linnean 
genus." 

Alepisaurus ferox Lowe. 

1833. Lowe, loc. cit., p. 104. 

1835. Id., Tr. Linn. Soc, vol. i, p. 124, pi. xix, and p. 395, pi. lix. 

1864. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. v, p. 421. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 117, fig. 142. 

1896. Collett, Res. Sci. Camp. Monaco, fasc. 10, p. 119, pi. iv, 
fig. 16 (head only). 

Depth of body about 10, length of head about 6, in length of body. 
Eye 2| in snout, 6 in length of head. Teeth : long canines on lower 
jaw and palatine. D 39-44, arising above hind margin of operculum 
and extending nearly whole length of back to anal, very high, longest 
rays exceeding length of head ; A 14-17, far back ; P 14-15, not 
reaching ventral ; V 8-10. Caudal deeply forked, the upper lobe 
prolonged in a curved form like a scimitar. Branchiostegals 6-7. 
(Plate X, fig. 2.) 

Length. — Up to 1500 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish above, with oblique patches descending into 
the white or silvery sides, a bluish sheen on head ; dorsal steely blue, 
other fins bluish or brownish. 

Locality. — East London. 

Distribution. — Middle Atlantic, Australia, and Tasmania. 

The single specimen in the South African Museum was caught in a 
Harder-net near East London, and fought fiercely when caught. It 
has the scimitar-like upper caudal lobe as described by Lowe (loc. cit., 
p. 395, pi. lix). 

Fam. 7. Ateleopidae. 

Body elongate. Skin naked, thick, gelatinous. Mouth small, 
inferior, protractile. One supramaxilla present. Pupil of eye very 
small. Teeth small, villiform, in bands in upper jaw or both jaws, 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of Soulh Africa. 251 

none on palate. Dorsal short, far forward. Anal long, united to 
reduced caudal. Pectoral lateral. Ventrals jugular, well separated, 
each consisting of a simple or bifid ray. Branchiostegals 6-8. No 
air-bladder. Photophores absent. Skeleton largely cartilaginous. 

This family was formerly placed near the Macruridae, then among 
the Ophidiidae (Zoarcidae). In 1909 Regan put it into a separate 
division, the Chondrobrachii ; but in 1911, as a result of further 
researches, abolished the division and transferred the family to its 
present position. 

Two genera, with a few species from the Indo-Pacific. Parateleopus 
Smth. and Radd., 1912, differs from the type genus in having a small 
low dorsal fin with only 3 rays. 

Gen. Ateleopus Schlegel. 

1846. Schlegel, Fauna Japan. Poiss., p. 255. 

1905. Sauter, Annot. Zool. Jap., vol. v, pt. 4, p. 235 (Ijimaia). 

With the characters of the family. Dorsal high, with several rays. 

Ateleopus natalensis, Regan. 

1921. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. vii, p. 414. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 77. 

Length of head about equal to its distance from origin of anal, 
6-7 in total length. Eye 2f in snout, 7-8 in length of head. Lower 
jaw toothless, without spine at the angle. Lips finely plicate. D 9-10, 
height equal to, or more usually greater than, length of head ; A+C 
100-110 ; P equal in length to head ; V about | length of head. 
(Plate X, fig. 3.) 

Length. — Up to 540 mm. 

Colour. — Blackish brown ; dorsal, pectoral, and margin of anal 
fins black. 

Locality. — Off Natal coast, 120-168 fathoms. 

Type in British Museum. 

All the five specimens (topotypes) in the South African Museum 
have the lips finely, though distinctly, plicate, as in plicatellus Gilb., 
but show no sign of a spine on the lower jaw as in that species. 

Fam. 8. Cetomimidae. 

Body compressed. Skin naked. Head enormous. Cleft of mouth 
very wide. Teeth small, granular, on both jaws, vomer, palatine, 



252 Annals of the South African Museum. 

pterygoid, 1st gill-arch, tongue, and upper pharyngeal bones. Eye 
very small. Dorsal and anal fins opposite one another and far back. 
No adipose fin. Ventrals absent. Photophores absent. 

A remarkable family of deep-sea fishes hitherto only found in the 
N. Atlantic, containing the two genera Cetomimus G. and B. 1895, 
and Cetostoma Zugmayer 1914. The systematic position of the 
family, as also that of the related family Rondeletiidae, is still uncertain 
owing to the skeleton not having been thoroughly studied. The 
discovery of a third genus in South African waters is extremely 
interesting. 

In shape the typical form resembles the right whale, whence the 
name. In Cetostoma and the present genus the resemblance is not 
so striking. 

Gen. Pelecinomimus Gilch. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 56. 

Body tapering from, head posteriorly. Eye close to upper jaw. 
Lateral line a single furrow. 

Gilchrist states that this form has " very long scales," the longest 
" 2-4 in depth of body." This feature, if correct, is unique in this 
family. The scales are not represented in the figure, which gives the 
impression that the fish has a naked skin like the typical members of 
the family. 

"^Pelecinomimus picMei Gilch. 

South African Whale-fish. 

1922. Gilchrist, loc. cit., p. 57, pi. ix, fig. 1. 

Depth of body 6|, length of head 3|-, in length of body. Snout 
equal to interorbital width, 2| in length of head. D 15 ; A 15-16, 
slightly in advance of dorsal. (Plate X, fig. 4.) 

Length. — ?. 

Colour. — ? Black. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point, 1014 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Division 6. MICROCYPRINI. 

1911. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. vii, p. 320 (classification). 

Mostly physoclystic (air-bladder without an open duct). The 
premaxilla excludes the maxilla from margin of upper jaw. No 
mesocoracoid. A single dorsal fin composed of soft rays. No adipose 
fin. Ventrals sometimes rudimentary or absent. No lateral line. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 



9.^?. 



This division includes the widely distributed Cyprinodontidae 
and the North American Amblyopsidae, comprising small fishes 
inhabiting fresh or brackish water ; very few are really marine. 

In South Africa only the genus Haplochilus is found, although 
the genus Fundulus has representatives in Central and East Africa, 
and eventually some may be found in North Rhodesia or Portuguese 
East Africa within our regional limits. 

The two South African species of Haplochilus will be found described 
in " The Freshwater Fishes of South Africa," p. 473. Both species 
should be placed in the genus Haplochilichthys, according to Regan. 

Division 7. SYNENTOGNATHI. 

Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. vii, p. 327,1911 (classification). 

Air-bladder without an open duct (physoclystic). Fins without 
spines, dorsal opposite anal, far hack, ventrals abdominal, pectorals 
high up on the side of the body. Premaxilla non-protractile and not 
entirely excluding maxilla from margin of upper jaw. Lower pharyn- 
geals united into a single bone. Scales cycloid. Lateral line near 
ventral profile. Branchiostegals 9-15. Pyloric caeca absent. 

The fishes of this division are inhabitants of shallow waters, either 
near the shore or on the high seas. Both the Needle-fishes and Gar- 
pikes, with their elongate beak-like jaws, and the Flying-fishes, with 
their large spreading pectoral fins, are easily recognisable. 

Key to the South African families. 

I. Scales small. Mouth large, both jaws produced and narrowed {Scombreso- 
coidea). 

A. Bands of small teeth and a single series of enlarged conical teeth. No finlets 

Belonidae.* 

B. Teeth very small. Posterior rays of dorsal and anal form detached finlets 

Scovibresocidae. 
II. Scales large. Mouth small, neither jaw or only the lower one produced 
(Exocoetoidea). 

A. Lower jaw produced. Pectoral short or moderate. Hemuhampkidae. 

B. Neither jaw produced. Pectoral large .... Exocoeiidae. 

Fam. 1. Belonidae. 
Needle-fishes and Gar-fishes. 

Body very elongate, slender. Scales small, thin. Both jaws 
produced in a long beak. Maxilla completelv fused with premaxilla. 

* For vindication of the family and generic name see Eegan, loc. cit., pp. 329, 332. 



254 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Bands of small teetli in both jaws, interspersed with a single series of 
large, erect, conical teeth. Lower pharyngeal triangular or long and 
narrow. Third upper pharyngeals enlarged, separate ; 4th usually 
present. Dorsal and anal both rather long. No detached finlets. 
Air-bladder present. Pseudobranchiae absent. 

A family of carnivorous fishes found in all warm seas, and sometimes 
entering rivers. The bones are more or less green in colour, and this 
fact often prevents people from eating these fishes, which, however, 
are perfectly wholesome and highly esteemed in many parts of the 
world. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Gill-rakers developed. Enlarged teeth moderate. Lower pharjoigeal 
triangular. 

A. Body feebly compressed ....... Belone. 

B. Body strongly compressed ...... Petalichthys. 

II. Gill-rakers absent. Enlarged teeth strong. Lower pharjmgeal elongate, 

narrow, 

A. Body feebly compressed . . . . . . Tylosurus. 

B. Bodj' strongly compressed ...... Athlennes. 

Gen. Belone Cuv. 

1817. Cuvier, Eegne Anim., vol. ii, p. 185. 

Body not or only moderately compressed. Enlarged teeth in the 
jaws moderately developed. Lower pharyngeal triangular. Gill- 
rakers present. Preorbital not completely covering maxilla (in the 
South African species). The scaly appearance on the top of the head 
does not extend forwards beyond the anterior margin of preorbital 
(in the South African species). 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Dorsal 17-18. Anal 24 ...... . natalensis. 

2. Dorsal 14. Anal 15 ........ . capensis. 

^Belone natalensis Gnthr. 

1866. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. vi, p. 243. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 310 {Tylosurus). 

Body moderately compressed. Caudal peduncle not compressed 
but somewhat depressed. Length of head about 3 or a little more in 
length of body. Upper surface of head with a broad shallow groove, 
tapering behind, widening in front, supraorbital region faintly striated. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 255 

Eye less than interorbital width, 2| in postorbital part of head. 
Maxilla not completely hidden by preorbital. Vomerine teeth, none. 
D 17-18, A 24. Middle and posterior rays of D and A subequal 
in length, the latter ending at a considerable distance from base of 
caudal. V nearly midway between base of caudal and front margin 
of orbit. Caudal truncate. 

Length. — Up to 500 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark on back. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

'^Belone capensis Gnthr. 

1866. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. vi, p. 247. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 94 (Tylosurus). 

Body not compressed, subcylindrical. Caudal peduncle compressed, 
deeper than broad. Length of head 2|-, in length of body. Upper 
surface of head with a very shallow and broad groove, supraorbital 
region striated. Eye less than interorbital width, 3 in postorbital 
part of head. Maxilla not completely hidden by preorbital. Vomerine 
teeth, none. D 14, A 15. Middle and posterior rays of D and A 
subequal in length, the latter ending at a considerable distance from 
base of caudal. V nearly midway between caudal and eye. Caudal 
slightly emarginate. 

Length. — Up to 325 mm. 

Colour.- — Silvery, dark on back. 

Ijocality. — Cape seas (Giinther). 

Gen. Petalichthys Regan. 

1904. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (7), vol. xiv, p. 129. 

Body strongly compressed. Enlarged teeth in jaws moderately 
developed. Lower pharyngeal triangular. Gill-rakers present. 
Maxilla completely hidden by preorbital. Scaly appearance on top 
of head extending forwards beyond anterior margin of preorbital. 

Only a single species known. 

Petalichthys capensis Regan. 
Common Cape Needle-fish. 

1904. Regan, loc. cit., p. 129. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 91. 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320. 

Body strongly compressed. Caudal peduncle compressed. Length 



256 



Annals of the South African Museum. 



of head (to end of upper jaw) 3|-4, in length of body. Upper surface 
with a very shallow groove, sometimes scarcely indicated, presenting 
a scaly appearance which is continued on to base of upper jaw beyond 
the level of the anterior margin of preorbital ; supraorbital very 
faintly striate. Maxilla completely hidden by preorbital. Eye a 
little larger than interorbital width, 2J in postocular part of head. 
Vomerine teeth none. Tongue smooth. D 16-18, A 20-22. Pos- 
terior rays of both D and A not larger than middle rays and ending 





Fig. 15. — Diagrams of the upper surface of the head of : A, Belone (acus, 
Mediterranean) ; B, Petalichthys capensis ; C, Tylosurus choram ; D, Athlennes 
Mails. 

e, eye ; 7i, nostril ; p, front margin of preorbital. 

at a considerable distance from base of caudal. V midway between 
base of caudal and posterior end of pectoral. Caudal forked. (Plate 
X, fig. 5.) 

Length. — Up to 320 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark steely blue on back. 

Locality. — Table Bay, False Bay to Natal coast. 



Gen. Tylosurus Cocco. 

1829. Cocco, Lettr. in Giorna Sci. Sicil., vol. xvii, p. 18. 

Body very elongate, feebly compressed. Enlarged teeth in both 
jaws very strong. Lower pharyngeal elongate, narrow. Gill-rakers 
absent. Base of upper jaw depressed. 



PLATE X. 



1. Dissomma anale Brauer (after Roule) . 

2. Alepisaurus ferox Lowe (original, but after Lowe 

3. Afeleopus natalensis Regan (original) . 

4. Pelecinomimus picklei Gilch. (after Gilchrist) 

5. Petalichifiys capensis Regan (original) 

6. Hemirhainphus delagoae n. sp. (original) 

7. Halocypselus evolans (Linn.) (after Day) 



TEXI'-PAGE 

248 
250 
251 
252 
255 
263 
268 



Ann .S. Afr. Mus., Vol. XXI. 



Plate X. 






Xeill A Co., Lid. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 257 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Tongue rough. Last rays of dorsal reaching base of caudal. A lateral keel on 

peduncle .......... chorain. 

2. Tongue smooth. Last rays of dorsal not reaching base of caudal. No keel on 

peduncle .......... leiuroides. 

Tylosurus choram (Forsk.). 
Gar-fish. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 510, pi. cxviii, fig. 4. 

1908. Kegan, Ann. Nat. Mus., vol. i, pt. 3, p. 243 {robusta non 
Giinther). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 309 (references). 

Caudal peduncle feebly compressed, scarcely deeper than wide, 
with lateral keel. Length of head about 3 in length of body. Upper 
surface with shallow groove more or less scaly anteriorly, supraorbital 
striated.' Eye § interorbital width, 2-| in postocular part of head. 
Maxilla completely hidden under preorbital. Teeth strong, none on 
vomer. Tongue rough. D 22-23, last rays elongate and reaching 
base of caudal. A 19-21. V midway between base of caudal and eye. 
P longer than depth of body, equal to postocular part of head. Caudal 
forked, lower lobe longer than upper. 

Length. — Up to 600 mm. 

Colour. — Dark bluish above, lighter below, a silvery lateral stripe ; 
pectoral and margin of dorsal usually black. 

Locality. — Natal and Zululand coasts, Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — E. coast of Africa to Indian seas. 

Regan has recorded the species robusta from Kosi Bay. The 
specimen in the British Museum from this locality is, however, un- 
doubtedly an example of choram. T. robusta is more nearly allied 
to the following species ; indeed, they may prove to be merely varieties 
or different sexes of the same species {leiuroides). 

Tylosurus leiuroides (Blkr.). 

1851. Bleeker, Nat. Tidsschr. Ned. Ind., vol. ii, p. 479. 

1866. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. vi, p. 243. 

Caudal peduncle about as deep as broad, without lateral keel. 
Length of head about 3 in length of body. Upper surface with well- 
marked groove, supraorbital region feebly striated (except the ridge 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 17 



258 Annals of the South African Museum. 

bordering the median groove). Eye f interorbital width, 2|- in 
postocular part of head. Maxilla not completely hidden under 
preorbital. Teeth strong, none on vomer. Tongue smooth. D 19, 
last rays not elongate and not nearly reaching base of caudal. A 22. 
V midway between base of caudal and eye. Pectoral equal to, or a 
little longer than postorbital part of head, considerably greater than 
depth of body. Caudal emarginate, lower rays longer than upper. 
(South African Museum.) 

Length. — Up to 470 mm. 

Colour. — Dark bluish brown above, lighter below, with a silvery 
lateral stripe ; pectoral dark, other fins light. 

Locality. — Cliinde (Portuguese East Africa). 

Distribution. — Indian Ocean. 



Gen. Athlennes J. and F. 

1886. Jordan and Fordice, Pr. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. ix, p. 342. 
Like Tylosurus, but body strongly compressed, base of upper jaw 
raised, and teeth not so strong. 



Athlennes Mans (C. and V.). 

1846. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xviii, p. 432, 
pi. dxlviii. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 310 (references). 

Caudal peduncle not so strongly compressed as body, but deeper 
than broad, without lateral keel. Length of head about 3| in length 
of body. Upper surface flat, with scarcely perceptible groove and 
supraorbital striae. Eye a little less than interorbital width, 1\ in 
postocular part of head. Maxilla completely hidden under preorbital. 
Teeth moderately strong, none on vomer. Tongue smooth. D 25- 
26, last rays reaching base of caudal. A 26-27. V slightly nearer 
eye than base of caudal. P subequal to depth of body and greater 
than postocular part of head. Caudal forked. 

Le7igth.—VTp to 1000 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish above, silvery- white below, sometimes some dark 
blotches below dorsal ; fins dark brown. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — W. Indies, Brazil, Indo-Pacific. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 259 

Fani. 2. Scombresocidae. 

Sauries. 

Body elongate, slender, compressed. Scales small, thin. Both 
jaws produced in a pointed beak. Maxilla completely fused with 
premaxilla. Teeth very small, in bands in both jaws. Third upper 
pharyngeals moderately large, separate ; 4th very small. Lower 
pharyngeal forming a moderately broad triangular plate. Dorsal 
and anal rather long, the posterior rays forming detached spinelets. 
Gill-rakers present. Pseudobranchiae absent. Air-bladder present. 

Pelagic fishes swimming near the surface in large shoals in all 
temperate seas. 

Gen. ScOMBRESOX Lacep. 

1803. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, p. 344. 

Jaws produced in a long beak in the adult, lower jaw longer than 
upper. In the young the jaws are quite short (see fig. 16). In the 
only other genus, Cololahis Gill, the jaws remain short throughout 
life. 

Scombresox saurus (Walb.). 
Saury ; Shipper. 

1904. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 145, pi. x, figs. 53-56 
(egg and larva). 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 90 (references) {saurus 
and rondeletii). 

Depth of body 9, length of head 3 J, in length of body (adult). Eye 
1^ interorbital width, 2|-2| in postorbital part of head. D 9-11, 5-6 ; 
A 12-13, 6-7. P shorter than postorbital part of head. V midway 
between base of caudal and anterior margin of eye. Caudal forked. 

Length. — Up to 450 mm. 

Colour. — Dark blue on back, separated by a silvery lateral stripe 
from the silvery-white lower parts ; fins light. 

Locality. — St. Helena Bay, Table Bay, and Cape Point to Mossel 
Bay. 

Distribution. — Temperate parts of N. Atlantic, St. Helena, New 
Zealand, S. Australia. 

The Australasian species, forsteri C. and V., apparently does not 
difier from the typical species. Another species, rondeleti C. and Y., 
also recorded from the Cape, is said to difier from saurus by the absence 
of an air-bladder. This feature was not confirmed by Liitken (Spolia 



260 



Annals of the South African Museum. 



Atlantica, p. 567), and there is little doubt that rondeleti is not a valid 
species. All well-preserved Cape specimens that I have examined 
have the air-bladder present. 

The common Skipper or Saury is found in large schools swimming 
near the surface. They are much sought after by mackerels, tunnys, 
and bonitos, and when pursued leap out of the water, often to a height 




Fig. 16. — Scomhresox saurus. Three stages to show the gradual increase 
in the length of the jaws, a and b enlarged ; c, natural size. 

of several feet, or skim along the surface. From the habits of this 
fish, it is easy to see how the evolution of the true Flying- fish (see 
p.'^265) has taken place. 



Fam. 3. Hemirhamphidae. 
Half-beaks. 

Body elongate, slender. Scales rather large, thin, deciduous. 
Lower jaw only produced into a beak (except in Chriodorus). Maxilla 
firmly united with premaxilla. Teeth in both jaws small, compressed, 
usually tricuspid. Lower pharyngeal broadly triangular. Third 
upper pharyngeals fused into one. Fourth pair absent. Dorsal and 
anal not very long. No detached finlets. Pectoral short or moder- 
ately long. Gill-rakers long. Pseudobranchiae absent. Air-bladder 
large, simple, or cellular. 

The fishes of this family are very similar in form to the Skijopers, 
but are easily distinguished by the upper jaw not being produced. 
Their habits are the same. They skim the upper surface of the sea 
and feed on minute particles of vegetable matter. Unlike the 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 261 

Skippers, however, they are inhabitants of the warmer seas, mostly 
near the shore, though a few are pelagic. Some forms are viviparous, 
but the majority are oviparous. 

Two genera have hitherto been found in South African seas. 

Key to the South African goiera. 

1. Pectoral about equal to depth of body, which is not strongly compressed 

He mirhamph ii-s. 

2. Pectoral much longer than depth of body, which is strongly compressed 

Euleptorhamphus. 

Gen. Hemirhamphus Cuv. 

1817. Cuvier, Regne Anim., vol. ii, p. 186. 

Body more or less compressed. Lower jaw produced in a long 
slender beak. Pectoral short. Anal not modified in males. Caudal 
forked. Air-bladder cellular with many partitions [Hemirham'phus) 
or simple {Hyporhamjphus). Oviparous. 

Gill (1859, Pr. Ac. Nat. Sci. Philad., p. 131) instituted the genus 
Hyporhamphus for those species having a simple air-bladder. The 
simple air-bladder seems to be correlated with the forward position 
of the ventral fins, but so few species have been examined (to judge 
by the descriptions) as regards the character of the air-bladder, that 
the use of Gill's genus is really not practicable for the present. 

From personal inspection I find that one of the South African 
species belongs to Hemirhamphus {sensu stricto) and two to Hypo- 
rhamphus ; the fourth {dussumieri) I have not seen, but it is placed 
in Hyporhamphus by Evermann and Scale (1907, Fish. Philipp. Isl., 
p. 58). 

Coastal forms, some of the species ascending rivers. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. With black blotches. Middle caudal rays equal to eye . . . far. 

II. Without black blotches. 

A. Middle caudal rays longer than eye. 

1. Dorsal and anal scaleless ..... calabaricus, 

2. Dorsal and anal scaly (in their anterior part) . delagoae. 

B. Middle caudal rays shorter than eye .... dussumieri. 

Bianconi (Spec. Zool. Mosamb., 1855-59) has recorded H. russelli 
C. and V. from Mozambique. As the synonymy of this species 
appears to be somewhat confused (see Day, Fish. India, p. 514) and as 
Giinther (Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. vi) does not record this species 
from the locality mentioned, I prefer not to include it herein. 



262 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Hemirhamj^hus {Hemirhamphus) far (Forsk.). 
Large Half-beak ; Groote Half-bek. 

1861. Castelnau, Mem. Poiss. de I'Air. Austr., p. 64 (obesiis). 

1866. Bleeker, Atlas IchtliyoL, vol. vi, p. 54, pi. vi, fig. 3. 

1878-88. Daj^ Fish. India, p. 516, pi. cxx, fig. 3. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 310 (references). 

Body somewhat compressed. Length of head (including lower jaw) 
2|— 3, of lower jaw (beyond the end of the upper jaw) 4-J— 5, in length 
of body. Eye less than interorbital width, f postorbital part of head. 
Triangular part of upper jaw (formed by premaxillae) much broader 
than long, scaleless. D 13-14, A 11-12. Dorsal longer than anal, 
both scaly in their anterior parts, anal arising below middle of dorsal. 
V well back, midway between base of caudal and extremity of pectoral. 
Middle rays of caudal equal to eye. Scales : 52-55. Air-bladder 
cellular. 

Length. — Up to 430 mm. 

Colour. — Dark bluish green above, a silvery lateral stripe, 4 (or 5) 
vertical black blotches. 

Locality. — False Bay, Natal coast, frequently enters estuaries and 
rivers, having been found in the Mazoe River, Rhodesia (Boulenger, 
Freshwater F. Afr., vol. iii, p. 15, 1915). 

Distribution. — E. coast Africa, Indian Ocean. 

This species is common in Natal waters, but does not seem to extend 
further south. The single example from False Bay, presuming the 
locality has been correctly recorded, is evidently an exception. It 
is easily distinguished by the black blotches on the sides. Although 
Castelnau does not mention this feature, it is probable that his quite 
inadequately defined species obesus is synonymous. 

Hemirhamphus {Hyporhamphus) calaharicus Gnthr. 
Needle-fish; Naald-visch (Knysna). 

1866. Gtinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. vi, p. 266. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 92. 

Body slightly compressed. Length of head 2|, length of lower jaw 
4-5, in length of body. Eye equal to interorbital width, f postorbital 
part of head. Triangular part of upper jaw as broad as long, scaly. 
D 13-15, A 14-15. Dorsal longer than, and arising slightly in advance 
of anal, both scaleless. V well in advance of dorsal, midwav between 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 263 

base of caudal and liind margin of operculum. Middle rays of caudal 
longer than eye. Scales : 50-52. Air-bladder simple. 

Length. — Up to 200 mm. 

Colour. — Dark (bluish) above, a silvery lateral stripe. 

Locality. — Knysna, Algoa Bay, East London. 

Distribution. — W. coast of Africa, Calabar (Giinther), Cameroons 
(South African Museum), Angola (Guimaraes). 

It is little remarkable that this W. African form should be met with 
as far to the east as East London. 

Hemirhamphus {Hyporhamphus) delagoae Brnrd. 

1925. Barnard, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), xv, p. 498. 

Body slightly compressed. Length of head 2h, length of lower jaw 
4f , in length of body. Eye f interorbital width, which equals postorbital 
part of head. Triangular part of upper jaw as broad as long, scaly. 
Longitudinal length of preorbital half diameter of eye. D 14, A 14. 
Dorsal a little longer than, and arising at about same level as, anal ; 
both scaly in their anterior parts. V well forward, midway between 
base of caudal and eye. Middle rays of caudal longer than eye. 
Scales : 50. Air-bladder simple. (Plate X, fig. 6.) 

Length. — Up to 300 mm. 

Ljocality. — Delagoa Bay. 

Allied to iinifasciatics (including neglectus), melanurus, and halinensis. 
It may be the same as the species recorded from Kosi Bay by Regan 
as dussumieri, but it certainly does not correspond with any of the 
descriptions of that species. 

*Hemirhamphus {Hyporhamphus) dussumieri C. and V. 
Dussumier^s Half-beak. 

1866. Bleeker, Atlas Ichthyol., vol. vi, p. 56; Scombr., pi. vii, fig. 3. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 311 (references). 

Body subcylindrical. Length of head 2f, length of lower jaw 5J, 
in length of body. Eye greater than interorbital width, scarcely less 
than postorbital part of head. Triangular part of upper jaw broader 
than long. D 15, A 14. Dorsal longer than, and arising in advance 
of, anal, both nearly scaleless. V midway between base of caudal 
and head. Middle rays of caudal shorter than eye (Giinther, but not 
in Bleeker's figure). Scales : 50-52. Air-bladder simple. 

Length. — Up to 300 mm. 



264 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Colour. — Dark greenish above, a silvery lateral stripe. 

Locality. — Kosi Bay (Zululand). 

Distribution.— Fi. coast of Africa, East Indies, Philippine Islands. 



Gen. EULEPTORHAMPHUS Gill. 

1859. Gill, Proc. Ac. Nat. Sci. Philad., p. 131. 

Body strongly compressed, very slender. Lower jaw produced 
in a long beak. Pectoral long. Anal not modified. Ventrals very 
small. Caudal forked. Air-bladder simple (Jordan and Evermann 
say " not described, probably cellular "). 

These fishes have the general body form and beak of Hemirham'phus 
but the pectoral fins are very large like those of the Flying-fishes. 
They are, in fact, pelagic Half-beaks. A few species, of doubtful 
synonymy, have been described from the West Indies and the Indo- 
Pacific. 

Euleptorhamphus longirostris (Cuv.). 

Pelagic Half-beak. 

1829. Cuvier, Regne Anim., vol. ii, p. 286. 

1846. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xix, p. 52. 

1859. Gill, loc. cit., p. 131 (brevoorti). 

1867. Poey, Synopsis, p. 383 (velox). 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India., p. 513. 

1896. Jordan and Evermann, Fish. N. Amer., vol. i, p. 724. 

1905. Id., Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., vol. xxiii (1903), pt. 1, p. 128, 
text-fig. 43. 

Depth of body 22, length of head 3|, length of lower jaw 5| (or 
a little less, because tip of lower jaw is broken off), in length of body. 
Eye greater than interorbital width, f postorbital part of head. 
Longitudinal length of preorbital f diameter of eye. D 23, arising 
slightly in advance of anal. A 21. V inserted at a distance in front 
of anal equal to distance from end of snout (upper jaw) to hind 
margin of operculum, its length less than diameter of eye. P 8, 
uppermost ray enlarged, at least as long as head (but mutilated). 
Air-bladder simple. Scales : ? (nearly all lost). 

Length. — 190 mm. 

Colour (as preserved).— Brown, with traces of a silvery lateral 
stripe. 

Locality. — Walfish Bay. 

Distribution. — West Indies (velox) ; Indian seas (longirostris). 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 265 

The above description is based solely on the unique specimen in the 
South African Museum. The descriptions given by other authors are 
based on larger specimens, and this may account for the fact that this 
specimen is considerably longer compared with the depth of the body. 

There is still some doubt, which can only be resolved by an examina- 
tion of more and better preserved material, whether the West Indian 
form described by Poey is synonymous with Cuvier's Indian form. 
Another species, E. macrorhynchus (C. and V.) from the Pacific Ocean, 
may also prove to be synonymous. 

The specimen here described is one of the Old Museum collection 
and is credited in the register-book to the traveller, Mr. Anderson. 
No further examples of this interesting fish appear to have been caught 
in South African waters. 

Fam. 4. Exocoetidae. 
Flying -Fishes. 

Body oblong or moderately elongate. Scales rather large, thin. 
Mouth terminal, neither jaw produced into a beak (slightly produced 
in Fodiator). Maxilla free from or merely adherent to premaxilla. 
Teeth in both jaws and often on palate, minute, villiform. Lower 
pharyngeal broadly triangular. Third upper pharyngeals merely 
coalescent and easily separated ; 4th pair absent. Dorsal and anal 
not very long, far back. No detached finlets. Pectoral greatly 
enlarged (only moderately so in Evolantia S. and H.). Gill-rakers 
various. Pseudobranchiae absent (concealed, glandular). Air- 
bladder very large, extending back along the caudal vertebrae. 

The enormous development of the pectoral fins render the Flying- 
fishes one of the most easily recognisable types of fish. Only in the 
Indo-Pacific species, Evolantia microptera (C. and V.), are the pectoral 
fins not exceptionally enlarged. In many species the ventral fins are 
also enlarged and are used as aids to flight. 

The actual mode of flight was for a long time a matter of controversy 
among both ichthyologists and laymen. The point at issue was 
whether the pectoral fins were vibrated or moved like those of a bird, 
or were just rigidly extended. In other words, whether the fish 
actually " flew " or merely " planed." 

It is now generally agreed by all competent observers that the fish 
planes, the impetus being derived from the vibration of the tail 
while in the water, additional impetus being derived from the vibra- 
tion of the lower lobe of the tail while the fish is skimming the surface 



266 Annals of the South African Museum. 

immediately after emergence and before it rises clear of the surface. 
There is undoubtedly a vibration of the pectoral fins immediately the 
fish leaves the water, but this is entirely involuntary and due to the 
air-resistance. Throughout the " flight " the pectoral fins are held 
rigidly extended, though they may be slightly altered in position 
so as to alter the angle of incidence of the air pressure and thus effect 
an alteration in the speed or the direction of the fish. As a rule, 
changes of direction while in the air are very slight. If the fish 
wishes to change its direction suddenly, it drops into the water and 
emerges again immediately. Similarly, a fresh impetus is given by a 
momentary submersion, or by the vibration of the lower lobe of the 
tail at each contact with the crest of a wave. 

The length of the flight varies from a few yards up to as much as 
200-300 yards or perhaps even more. The smaller species or in- 
dividuals naturally do not execute such long flights as the larger ones. 
The velocity varies also, and has been stated by various observers 
as from 2 miles an hour up to 25 or 35 miles an hour. The latter 
figures are probably excessive. It must be remembered that the 
speed and indeed the length and direction of the flight is dependent 
on the atmospheric conditions. When the wind is very strong, for 
instance, the fishes cannot rise with the wind, but must rise against it. 

The flight may terminate suddenly, either by the fish gliding into 
the water or falling with a splash ; or it may be gradually checked 
until the fish enters the water with practically no splash. The latter 
only occurs in those species with enlarged ventral fins. These are 
expanded horizontally during flight like the pectorals, but are rotated 
downwards so that they of!er the maximum amount of resistance to 
the air when the fish desires to check its speed. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Ventrals short, not extending to anal. 

a. Pectoral not reaching beyond middle of dorsal . . Parexocoetus. 

b. Pectoral reaching base of caudal ..... Halocypselus. 

2. Ventrals long, extending bevond origin of anal . . . Exocoetus. 



Gen. Parexocoetus Blkr. 

1865. Bleeker, Nederl. Tydsskr. Dierk., vol. iii, p. 105. 

Body moderately elongate, elliptical in cross-section. Snout short, 
lower jaw not produced. Teeth on vomer, palatine, and pterygoid. 
Pectoral fin moderate, not reaching beyond middle of dorsal. Ventral 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 267 

short, not extending to anal, inserted in or slightly behind middle of 
body. Dorsal high. Anal about as long as dorsal. 
Mostly small species. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Pectoral dark .......... tnento. 

2. Pectoral light -. . . . . . . . . inesogaster. 

Parexocoetus nienio (C. and V.). 
Poitited-chinned Flying -fish. 

1846. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xix, p. 124. 

1866. Bleeker, Atl. IchthyoL, p. 77 ; Scombr., pi. v, fig. 6. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 520, pi. cxxxi, fig. 9. 

1918. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. vi, pt. 2, p. 76. 

Depth of body 4|-5, length of head 3-4|, in length of body. Eye 
subequal to interorbital width, 2|-3 in length of head, IJ times snout. 
Point of lower jaw very slightly produced, tubercular. Interorbital 
space flat, with 2 faint ridges from snout, ending opposite hind margin 
of eye. D 10-12, its longest rays reaching to basal rays of caudal. 
A 11-13, arising almost at same level, and as long, as dorsal. P half 
length of body, reaching to middle of dorsal. V arising midway 
between base of caudal and end of snout, reaching to vent. Scales : 
35-38 ; 17-19 between occiput and dorsal fin. 

Length.- — Up to 120 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark blue above ; upper part of dorsal and end of 
pectoral black, lower lobe of caudal yellowish, other fins transparent. 

Locality. — Durban Bay, Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — Indian seas. East Indies. 

^Parexocoetus mesogaster (Bl.). 

1795. Bloch, IchthyoL, vol. xii, p. 17, pi. cccxcix. 

1846. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xix, p. 131 
{orbignianus). 

1846. Solander in Richardson, Ichth. China, p. 265 (brachypterus). 

1851. Gosse, Nat. Soj. Jamaica, p. 11, pi. i, fig. 1 [hillianus). 

1866. Gunther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. vi, p. 284. 

1896. Jordan and Evermann, Fish. N. Amer., vol. i, p. 728. 

1905. Id., Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., vol. xxiii (1903), pt. 1, p. 131, 
pi. iii [brachypterus). 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320 {hillianus). 



268 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Depth of body 4|-5, length of head 4|-4:|, in depth of body. Eye 
nearly equal to interorbital width, 3 in length of head. Snout short, 
blunt, f diameter of eye. Interorbital space fiat. D 12-13, its longest 
rays reaching caudal. A 13-14, arising almost at same level as dorsal, 
and as long. P |— § length of body, reaching to first rays of dorsal. 
V arising midway between base of caudal and anterior margin of eye, 
reaching to, or slightly beyond, origin of anal. Scales : 38-42 ; 19 
between occiput and dorsal fin. 

Length. — Up to 180 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark blue above ; upper part of dorsal black, 
other fins transparent, sometimes pectorals, ventrals, and caudal 
with a rosy tinge. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distrihution. — "West Indies, Indo-Pacific. 



Gen. Halocypselus Weinl. 

1859. Weinland, Proc. Post. Soc. Nat. Hist., vol. vi, p. 385. 

Body moderately elongate, subquadrate in cross-section. Snout 
short, blunt. Teeth present or absent on vomer and palatine ; none 
on pterygoid. Pectoral fin very long, reaching base of caudal. 
Ventral inserted before middle of body, nearer to snout than to caudal, 
short, not reaching to base of anal. Dorsal not elevated. Anal 
opposite to and nearly as long as dorsal. 

Only one species in South African waters. 

Halocypselus evolans (Linn.). 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 519, pi. cxx, fig. 5. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 93 (references, but not 
including those under volitans, which is a different species). 

Depth of body 5J-6, length of head 4, in length of body. Eye a 
little greater than snout, less than interorbital width, 3|— 4 in length 
of head. Interorbital space nearly flat. D 12-14, A 13-15. P 
reaching to base of caudal. V not nearly reaching to vent. Scales : 
40-42, 20 between occiput and dorsal fin. (Plate X, fig. 7.) 

Length. — Up to 220 mm. 

Co?OM>-.— Silvery, dark blue above ; pectoral grey or blackish, with 
white edge, ventral white, caudal dusty. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — Cosmopolitan. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 269 

Gen. ExocoETUs (Artedi) Linn. 

1738. Artedi, Gen. Pise, p. 6. 

1758. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 316. 

Body elongate, subquadrate in cross-section. Snout blunt. Teeth, 
very feeble or wanting. Eyes large. Pectoral fin very long, reacting 
to base of caudal. Ventral inserted behind middle of body, nearer 
caudal than snout, large. Dorsal not, or not very, elevated. Anal 
long or short. 

This, the typical genus of the family, contains the majority and also 
the largest of the species. A large number of species have been de- 
scribed, but many of them are either quite inadequately described, 
or founded on the young of some other species. 

Of the five species recorded from South Africa, only two really 
deserve to be included in the fauna-list. E. cyanopterus is most prob- 
ably synonymous with bahiensis, and the descriptions of longipinnis 
and chloropterus afiord no distinctive characters by which these species 
can be recognised. They are included here chiefly with a view to 
showing how little we really know about the species of Flying-fishes 
in South African waters. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Pectoral uniformly dark. 

a. Anal 9-10 ......... bahiensis. 

b. Anal 11-12 . . . . ... . cyanopterus. 

2. Pectoral dark with oblique white band ..... altipennis. 

3. Pectoral uniformly light .... longipinnis and chloropterus. 

Exocoetus bahiensis Ranz. 

1866-72. Bleeker, Atlas Ichthyol., vol. vi, p. 71 ; Scombr., pi. iii, 
fig. 2. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 311 (references). 

Depth of body 5|-6^, length of head 4|-5, in length of body. Eye 
a little greater than snout, 3j-3^ in length of head, 1| in interorbital 
width. D 12-14, A 9-10. Anal arising below middle rays of dorsal. 
V arising midway between base of caudal and middle of operculum, 
reaching to middle of anal. Scales : 50 ; 35-40 between occiput and 
dorsal fin. 

Length. — Up to 380 mm. 



270 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark blue above ; pectoral dark, especially towards 
its extremity, dorsal usually with a dark blotch, ventral light. 
Locality. — Natal coast. 
Distribution. — Tropical Atlantic, Indo-Pacific. 



^Exocoetus cyanojjterus C. and V. 

1846. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xix, p. 97. 

1866. Glinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. vi, p. 294. 

1896. Jordan and Evermann, Fish. N. Amer., vol. i, p. 739. 

Depth of body about 7, length of head about 5f, in length of 
body. Eye slightly larger than snout, 3 J in length of head. Teeth 
moderately developed. D 12-13, A 11-12. Dorsal low. V arising 
midway between base of caudal and margin of operculum, reaching 
almost to base of last anal ray. 

Length. — Up to 375 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark blue above, with dusty lateral blotches ; 
pectoral bluish black, lower and hind margins white, ventral white, 
dorsal with large blackish blotch. 

Locality. — Agulhas Bank (British Museum). 

Distribution. — Coast of Brazil, West Indies. 

Probably the same as bahiensis. 

Exocoetus altijpennis C. and V. 

1846. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xix, p. 109, 
pi. dlx. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 92 (references). 

Depth of body 7-7|, length of head 5J-5|, in length of body. Eye 
subequal to snout, 3-3|^ in length of head. Teeth rudimentary. 
D 13, A 10-12. Dorsal and anal both high, longest dorsal ray at least 
equal to length of head (in a small specimen, 100 mm. long, it is twice 
as long as head and reaches to middle of upper caudal lobe). Anal 
arising below middle rays of dorsal. V arising midway between hind 
margin of eye and base of caudal, reaching to end of anal (or beyond 
in young). Scales : 52 ; 28 between occiput and dorsal fin. 

Length. — Up to 350 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark blue above ; pectoral black with an oblique 
white band, ventral blackish with white border, caudal dusky. 

Locality. — Algoa Bay, Agulhas Bank. 

Distribution. — Indian Ocean. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 271 

*Exocoetus longipinnis Cast. 

1861. Castelnau, Mem. Poiss. de I'Afr. Austr., p. 64. 
1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 94 (references). 
Length of head about 6 in length of body. Ventrals 2^ or less in 
length of body. D 12, A 10. 
Length. — Up to 480 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark above ; fins yellow, ventrals white. 
Locality. — Agulhas Bank. 

^Exocoetus chloropterus C. and V. 

1846. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xix, p. 109. 
1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 92 (references). 
Eye 2| in length of head. D 13, A 9. 
Jjength. — Up to 162 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark blue above ; pectoral, dorsal, and caudal 
greenish, ventrals blue. 

Jjocality. — Cape seas (Bleeker). 
Distribution.— ^?,° 14' S., 44° 30' W. 



Division 8. SOLENICHTHYES. 

Jungersen, Vidensk. Selsk. Skr., (7), vol. vi, p. 41, 1908. 

Air-bladder without an open duct (physoclystic). The anterior 
bones of the skull greatly produced forwards, forming a long cylindrical 
tube terminating in a small mouth. Maxilla protractile. Teeth, if 
present, very small, on both jaws, palatine, and vomer. Lower 
pharyngeals separate. Spinous dorsal composed of feeble isolated 
spines or absent ; soft dorsal and anal of moderate length. Ventral 
fins, if present, abdominal, with or without spines. Body naked, 
scaly, or with a more or less complete bony armature. Branchio- 
stegals 3-7. Gills either laminate or lobate, i.e. formed of small 
rounded lobes. Gill-rakers present or obsolete. Pseudobranchiae 
present or absent. Pyloric caeca few or none. 

The chief external distinguishing character of this group is the 
elongate tubular snout. In no other of the South African fishes is 
the snout produced to such a marked degree. The other external 
character which is shared by most of the members is the more or less 
complete bony armature. 

These fishes are all shore fishes, inhabiting chiefly tropical regions. 
Some of the forms evolved among the Sea-horses are remarkable 



272 Annals of the South African Museum. 

instances of protective resemblance. Some interesting cases of care 
of the young are also found. 

Key to the South African families. 
I. Gills laminate. 

A. Teeth present. Body elongate {Aulostomoidei). 

1. Body with ctenoid scales, compressed . . Aulostomatidae. 

2. Body scaleless, depressed ..... Fistulariidae. 

B. Teeth absent. Body not very elongate, with bony plates or nearly 

completely enclosed in bony armature (Ce7itriscoidei). 

1. Body scaly or rough, with isolated bony plates Macrorhamphosidae. 

2. Body encased in bony armature .... Centriscidae. 
II. GiUs lobate. Teeth absent. Body more or less elongate. 

A. Body with stellate ossifications. Two dorsal fins. Ventrals large 

( Solenosto')noidei) Solerwstomidae. 

B. Body encased in bony rings. One dorsal fin. Ventrals absent 

( Syngnathoidei ) Syngnathidae. 

Fam. 1. Aulostomatidae. 

Body compressed. Scales ctenoid, very small. Teeth present. 
Spinous dorsal composed of separate spines. Ventral nearer to anal 
than to pectoral, without spine. Anal opposite soft dorsal. Anterior 
vertebrae fused into one. Supratemporal produced back over anterior 
vertebra. Caudal fins without filiform rays. Lower jaw with a 
barbel on chin. Branchiostegals 4. Gills laminate. Gill-rakers 
obsolete. Pseudobranchiae present. Lateral line continuous. 

A single genus with the characters of the family. 

Gen. AuLOSTOMA Lacep. 
1803. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, p. 357, 

^Aulostoma valentini (Blkr.). 
Spiny-back Flute-mouth. 

1726. Valentinus, Descr. Amboin, vol. iii, p. 448, fig. 323 ; p. 502, 
fig. 494 (pre Linnean). 

1738. Linne, Syst. Nat., vol. i, p. 575 [chinensis part). 

1853. Bleeker, Nat. Tyds. Ned. Ind., vol. iv, p. 608 [valentini). 

1905. Jordan and Evermann, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., vol. xxiii 
(1903), pt. 1, p. 114, fig. 34. 

Length of head (to gill-opening) about 3, snout 4J, in length of 
body. Eye nearly half postorbital length of head. D VIII-XII 
+24-27, A 26-28, V 6. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 273 

Length. — Up to 500 mm. 

Colour. — Variable, lemon-yellow to light or dark brown, with or 
without 5-6 longitudinal dark stripes, or with light cross-bands ; base 
of dorsal and anal black, a black spot on maxilla, at base of ventral, 
and usually 2 on caudal, rest of fins pale yellowish or rosy. 

Locality.— Mozsimhique. 

Distribution. — E. coast of Africa to East Indies and Japan. 

Fam. 2. Fistulariidae. 

Body depressed. Skin naked, but with bony plates in various 
parts, mostly covered by the skin. Teeth present. Spinous dorsal 
absent. Anal opposite dorsal. Ventral much nearer to pectoral 
than to anal, without spine. Caudal fin with middle rays elongate, 
filamentous. Anterior vertebrae fused into one. Supratemporal 
produced back over anterior vertebrae. Membrane uniting the bones 
of the snout below very distensible. No barbel on chin. Branchio- 
stegals 5-7. Gills laminate. Gill-rakers obsolete. Pseudobranchiae 
present. Lateral line continuous. 

A single genus with the characters of the family. , 

Gen. FiSTULARiA Linn. 

1758. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 312. 

1921. Weber and de Beaufort, Zool. Meded., vol. vi, pt. 1, p. 64 
(discussion of synonymy of species). 

The synonymy of the two species mentioned below is very difficult 
to unravel. Weber and de Beaufort have come to the conclusion that 
the depressed form should bear Lacepede's name petimba, and that 
serrata, being ill-defined by Cuvier, should be replaced by villosa 
Klunzinger. These conclusions seem to be well based and are here 
adopted. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Interorbital space concave. Ridges on head strongly serrate and crenulate 

villosa Klunz. 

2. Interorbital space flat. Ridges on head feebly crenulate . petimba Lac. 

Fistularia villosa Klunz. 

Flute- mouth. 

1871. Klunzinger, Abh. Zool. Bot. Ges. Wien., vol. xxi, p. 516. 
1880. Giinther, Challenger Eep., vol. i, p. 68, pi. xxxii, fig. C 
(serrata). 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 18 



274 Annals of the South African Museum. 

1905. Jordan and Evermann, Bull. U.S. Fisli. Comm., vol. xxiii, 
pt. 1 (1903), p. 116 [serrata). 

1913. Weber, Siboga Exp. Fisclie., pt. 65, p. 101, text-fig. 32 (juv.) 
{petimba non Lac). 

Body H times as broad as deejD. Length of bead (to gill-opening) 
2f-2|, of snout 3|-3§, in length of body. Eye (longitudinal diameter) 
2J-2| in postorbital part of head. Interorbital space concave, 
width f diameter of eye. Lateral edges of snout very distinctly 
and strongly serrate, dorsal ridges running parallel and then con- 
verging to the tip of the snout. Eidges on top of head and behind 
orbit strongly serrate and crenulate. D 13-15, A 14-15, V 6. A 
series of small narrow plates along the lateral line, those in the anterior 
part of the body sunken beneath the skin, those on the hind part 
of the body and caudal peduncle bearing each a compressed back- 
wardly directed spine. (Plate XI, fig. 1.) 

Length. — Up to 900 mm. 

Colour.- — Greyish or brownish, light beneath ; fins pale. 

Locality. — Mossel Bay to Natal, 25-100 fathoms. 

Distribution.- — Indo-Pacific to Japan. 

The Flute-mouths are said to prefer a muddy habitat, and they 
frequently ascend the estuaries of rivers. Their food probably con- 
sists of Crustacea and worms, which they dig out of the soft mud with 
their long snouts. 

Fistularia petimba Lac. 

Flattened Flute-mouth. 

1803. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, p. 349. 
1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 360, pi. Ixxvi, fig. 3 {serrata . 
1880. Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. i, p. 69, pi. xxxii, D {depressa). 
1905. Jordan and Evermann, Bull. I'.S. Fish. Comm., vol. xxiii, 
pt. 1 (1903), p. 116. 

1913. Weber, Siboga Exp. Fische., pt. 65, p. 101 {depressa). 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. iii, p. 85 (part references). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 308 (part references). 

Very similar to villosa, but easily distinguished by the following 
characters. Body more depressed, twice as broad as deep. Eye 
larger, scarcely more than twice in postorbital part of head. Inter- 
orbital space flat, its width twice in diameter of eye. Snout flatter ; 
the 2 dorsal ridges diverging in the anterior half before converging to 
the tip of snout. Lateral ridges on snout as strongly serrate as in 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 275 

villosa, but the ridges on top of head and behind orbit only feebly 
crenulate or even quite smooth. 

The armature of the lateral line posteriorly is the same as in villosa, 
and I am unable to appreciate the respective roughness {villosa) and 
smoothness (petimba) of the skin, as stated by Gtinther, in the 
specimens at hand. 

Colour and size the same as in villosa. 

Locality. — Mossel Bay to Natal, Delagoa Bay, Mozambique. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific to Japan and California. 



Fam. 3. Macrorhamphosidae. 
Trumpet -fishes. 

Eegan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. xiii, p. 17 (1914) (synopsis). 

Body compressed, oblong, or somewhat elevated. Skin with small 
scales, which are either distinctly overlapping, keeled, and ctenoid, 
or indistinct, giving the skin a rough feel. Lateral line indistinct or 
quite obsolete. Bony plates on the side of the back and along the 
ventral margin. Teeth absent. Two dorsal fins, the first of 4-7 
spines, 2nd spine long and strong ; soft dorsal and anal fins moderate, 
opposite one another. Ventrals small, capable of being more or less 
completely folded into a groove, composed of spine and 4-5 rays. 
Caudal fin emarginate. Anterior vertebrae fused into one. Branchio- 
stegals 4. Gills laminate. Gill-rakers present, about 20 on whole of 
first arch. 

Four genera, two of which are South African. The other two 
genera are characterised as follows : — 

Centriscops Gill, with 4 large well-developed bony plates in each 
series, and Scolopacichthys Regan, with the 1st dorsal spine 5. the 
length of the 2nd, which equals length of head or depth of body. 
The species mostly inhabit rather deep water. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Skin with small but distinct scales. Dorsal fins separate MacrorhampJiosus. 

2. Skin rough. Dorsal fins contiguous ..... Notopogoii. 

Gen. Macrorhamphosus Lacep. 

1803. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, p. 136. 
Body oblong. Skin with distinct overlapping scales. Dorsal 
profile evenly convex. Two series of bony plates on each side of back,. 



276 Annals of the South African Museum. 

each series containing 3 well-developed plates with a smaller one behind. 
Two dorsal fins separate, or with a series of disconnected spines be- 
tween them. First dorsal spine very short. 
A small genus ranging over the whole world. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. E_ye equal to, or greater than postorbital part of head. 

a. Second dorsal spine not reaching beyond soft dorsal . . gracilis. 

b. Second dorsal spine reaching to caudal fin . . . . sagifue. 

2. Eye less than postorbital part of head ...... velitaris. 

Macrorhamphosus gracilis (Lowe). 
Trumpet-fish ; Bellows-fish. 

1839. Lowe, Proc. Zool. Soc, p. 86. 

1866. Bleeker, Visch. v. d. Kaap, p. 55 (name only). 

1914. Eegan, loc. cit., pp. 17, 19. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 86 {scolopax non Linn.). 

Depth of body 4-5^, length of head 2^, in length of body. Snout 
not quite twice rest of head. Eye equal to, or greater than, postorbital 
part of head, 3| in length of snout. D IV-fll, A 18. Second 
dorsal spine inserted a little in advance of vent, strong, serrated, 
though often feebly so, when laid back reaching to origin, or some- 
times end of base of soft dorsal. 

Length. — Up to 115 mm. 

Colour.- — Silvery, back bluish black. 

Locality. — Table Bay to Algoa Bay, 25-66 fathoms ; frequently 
washed up on beach after storms. 

Distribution. — N. and S. Atlantic. 

It seems highly probable that this is the species which Bleeker 
recorded as scolopax. The true scolopax Linn, is easily distinguished 
by its deeper body and the 2nd dorsal spine being inserted behind the 
vent above the origin of the anal fin. 

Macrorhamphosus sagifue J. and S. 

Long-spined Trumpet-fish. 

1902. Jordan and Starks, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxvi, p. 69, 
fig. 2. 

1914. Regan, loc. cit., pp. 17, 19. 

Depth of body 4-4J, length of head 2-2^, iji length of body. Snout 



A Mo7iograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 277 

not quite twice rest of head. Eye slightly greater than postorbital 
part of head, 3i in length of snout. D V-f 12, A 18-19. Second 
dorsal spine inserted a little in advance of vent, strong, serrated, 
when laid back reaching to caudal fin. 

Length. — Up to 125 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Reddish brown ; pale red in life (according 
to Jordan and Starks). 

Locality. — East London. 

Distribution. — Japan. 

The single specimen agrees so closely with the original description 
as to leave no doubt as to the identification. 

"^Macrorhamphosus velitaris (Pall.). 

1769. Pallas, Spicil. Zool., vol. viii, p. 36, pi. iv, fig. 8. 

1866. Steindachner, S.B. Ak. Wien., vol. liv, p. 374, pi. iii, fig. 9 
{hrevispinis). 

1905. Gilbert, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., vol. xxiii (1903), pt. 2, 
p. 613, fig. 237 {hawaiensis) . 

1914. Regan, loc. cit., pp. 17, 20. 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Biol. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 57 
(scolopax non Linn.). 

Depth of body 4|, length of head 2i, in length of body. Snout 
1|- times rest of head. Eye less than postorbital part of head, o^ 
in length of snout. I) V + 12, A 18. Second dorsal spine inserted 
well in advance of vent (nearer to base of ventrals than to vent), 
half length of head, when laid back reaching to middle of soft dorsal. 

Length. — Up to 125 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, darker above. 

Locality. — Natal Coast, 114-160 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Indian Ocean, China, Hawaian Islands, Medi- 
terranean. 

There seems no doubt that the specimens recorded by Gilchrist, 
at any rate the large specimen mentioned by him, should be referred 
to this species, already recorded by Norman from the Natal coast. 

Gen. NoTOPOGON Regan. 

1914. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. xiii, p. 14. 

Body rather elevated. Skin rough, without distinct scales. Dorsal 



278 Annals of the South African Museum. 

profile more or less sinuous or angular. Two series of bony plates on 
each side of back, each series with 3 well-developed plates, and a 
smaller one behind. Two dorsal fins contiguous. First dorsal spine 
very short, 3rd-7th nearly equidistant and gradually decreasing in 
size. Adult with a patch of bristles on nape. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Second dorsal spine inserted over origin of soft dorsal. Eye 2| in snout 

natalensis. 
II. Second dorsal spine inserted in advance of soft dorsal. 

A. Eye 3^ in snout . . . ... . . lilliei. 

B. Eye 5 in snout ........ macrosolen. 



Notopogon natalensis (Gilch.). 
Natal Trumpet-fish or Bellows-fish. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., iii, p. 57, pi. xii, 
fig. 2. 

Distance from base of 2nd dorsal spine to vent a little greater than 
distance from head to caudal fin. Length of head 2| in length of 
body. Snout IJ times rest of head. Eye subequal to postorbital 
part of head, 2| in length of snout. D VII 16, A 17. Distance from 
origin of soft dorsal to base of 2nd dorsal spine equal to distance to 
(nearest point on) edge of back. Second dorsal spine moderately 
stout, subequal to snout in Gilchrist's figure, but in a small specimen 
70 mm. long equal to distance from hind margin of eye to end of snout, 
more slender and serrate ; inserted above origin of soft dorsal. 
Dorsal profile concave above nape with a patch of rather long bristles ; 
in the small specimen in the South African Museum the profile nearly 
evenly convex, but the patch of bristles is developed though not so 
long as in Gilchrist's figure. 

Length. — Up to 142 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish red. 

Locality. — Off Buffalo River and Natal coast, 150-195 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

This species, as remarked by Gilchrist, is near to schoteli Weber from 
off the east coast of South America. The specimen which Gilchrist 
states was previously recorded as Centriscus humerosus is not this 
species, nor is it smaller ; it really belongs to the following species, under 
which name it was recorded by Gilchrist and Thompson in 1917. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 279 

Notopogon lilliei Regan. 
Lillie's Trumpet-fish. 

1911. Waite, Rec. Canterb. Mus., vol. i, pt. 3, p. 169 {Centriscops 
humerosus non Rich.). 

1911. McCulloch, Endeavour Fish, vol. i, pt. 1, p. 24, pi. v, and 
text-fig. 9 {Centriscops humerosus non Rich.). 

1914. Regan, loc. cit., pp. 14, 18, 20. 

1914. Id., Terra Nova Exp. ZooL, vol. i, p. 15, pi. xii, fig. 4. 

1914. McCulloch, Zool. Res. Endeavour, vol. ii, pt. 3, p. 91. 

1914. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. xiii, pt. 3, 
p. 85 {Centriscops humerosus non Rich.). 

1917. Id., Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, p. 309. 

Distance from base of 2nd dorsal spine to vent 1|— If in that from 
head to caudal fin. Length of head about 2 in length of body. 
Snout twice length of rest of head. Eye a little greater than post- 
orbital part of head, 3^ in length of snout. D VII, 14(-16) ; A 17-19. 
Second dorsal spine strong, serrated in young, its length li (juv.) to 3j 
(adult) in distance from head to caudal fin ; inserted above middle of 
anal. Dorsal profile evenly convex with a patch of short bristles. 

Length. — Up to 270 mm. (the single South African Museum specimen 
is 225 mm.). 

Colour. — -Rose-pink, with silvery spots and bars. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Southern Australia, New Zealand, 18-90 fathoms. 

I have seen only the specimen reported upon by Gilchrist and 
Thompson, and which seems to be the only specimen of this species 
as yet caught in South African waters. The 4th bony plate in each 
series is much smaller than the other 3, as is characteristic of the 
genus. 

Notopogon niacrosolen Brnrd. 
Long-snouted Bellows-fish. 

1925. Barnard, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), xv, p. 498. 

Distance from base of 2nd dorsal spine to vent 1J-1|^ in that from 
head to caudal fin. Length of head twice in length of body. Snout 
2J-2| times length of rest of head. Eye subequal (or a trifle less than) 
postorbital part of head, 5 in length of snout. D VII, 15 ; A 18. 
Second dorsal spine strong, serrated, its length 2|-2f iu distance 
from operculum to caudal ; inserted above middle or posterior third 
of anal. Dorsal profile evenly convex with a very slight concavity 



280 Aiinals of the South African Museum. 

in whicli the patch of very short (and inconspicuous) bristles is situate. 
(Plate XI, fig. 3.) "^ 

Length. —JJ-p to 280 mm. 

Colour. — Very pale rose-pink with a silver}^ lustre ; fins transparent, 
with 2 cross-bands on caudal, 2 on dorsal, and 1 on anal rose-pink. 

Locality.— OS Table Bay, 200 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

This splendid species is easily distinguished from lilliei, and indeed 
from all other species of the genus, by the great length of the snout. 
It appears to be not uncommon in the deeper waters to the N.W. of 
Table Bay, being obtained by fishing vessels when trawling for Stock- 
fish. 

Fam. 4. Centeiscidae. 

Body elongate, strongly compressed, covered with bony plates 
forming a dorsal cuirass, terminating posteriorly in a long spiniform 
process, which may or may not have a movable spine at its extremity. 
A series of ventral bony plates forming a very thin, sharp cutting-edge. 
The very small portion of the body not covered with the bony armature 
is naked. Lateral line absent. Teeth absent. Two dorsal fins, 
contiguous, situate below the dorsal spiniform process. Ventrals 
small, of 3-4 soft rays without spine. Caudal deflected downwards, 
rounded. Branchiostegals 3-4. Gills laminate. Gill-rakers present. 
Pseudobranchiae present. 

It should be noted that although the body appears to be covered 
by an external armature, the plates forming this armature are really 
modified portions of the vertebral column. The humerus also takes 
part in the formation of this bony cuirass. 

Two genera in the Indo-Pacific region : Centriscus Linn. {=:Amphi- 
sile Cuv.) has the dorsal cuirass ending in a long unjointed spine. 

Gen. Aeoliscus J. and S. 

1902. Jordan and Starks, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxvi, p. 71. 
With the characters of the family. The 1st dorsal spine is movably 
articulated with the spiniform process of the dorsal cuirass. 

Aeoliscus punctulatus (Bianc). 

Razor Fish. 

1855. Bianconi, Spec. Zool. Mosamb., fasc. 10, p. 221, pi. i, fig. 2. 

1861. Gunther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iii, p. 527. 

1885. Trimen, Trans. S. Afr. Philos. Soc, vol. iv, pt. 2, p. 53. 



PLATE XI. 

PICl. 

1. Fistularia villoaa Klunz. (original) .... 

2. Hippocampus kuda Blkr. (after Day) .... 

3. Notopogon macrosolen n. sp. (original) 

4. Solenstoma cyanopterus Blkr. (after Jordan and Evermann) 

5. Syngnathoides biaculeatus (Bl.) (after Bay) . 

6. Aeoliscus punchilatus (Bianc.) (original) 



TEXT-PAGE 

273 
293 

279 

281 
285 
280 



Ann. S, Afr. Mus., Vol. XXI. 



Plate XI. 



^:t^^"i ,-c>r-S.C--'=^ 7 








,ttM44-'*»^-c^-jt:3R:3rTgrf 



-^^-40 




SeiU d: Co., ltd. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 281 

1918. Kegan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 2, p. 76. 

Depth of body 6-7, length of bead 2f-3 in length to end of dorsal 
spine. Eye 10 in length of head. Second lateral plate nearly as 
deep as long, 3rd 1^ times as long as deep. D III, 10 ; A 12-13. 
(Plate XI, fig. 6.) 

Length. — Up to 145 mm. (to end of dorsal spine). 

Colour. — Brown, with small round black dots. 

Locality. — East London, Durban, Delagoa Bay, Mozambique. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa to Red Sea. 

Trimen's statements (not based on personal observation) as to the 
weak powers of locomotion possessed by these fishes is not borne 
out by the observations on the living animal. Willey (Zool. Res., 
pt. 6, p. 719, fig. 12, 1902) found an allied species, A. strigatus Gnthr., 
living in small shoals among the coral reefs, and states that the fishes 
swam " with great rapidity in a vertical position, cleaving the water 
with their razor-shaped bodies," i.e. belly foremost, and were so quick 
and deft in turning and doubling back that on many occasions he 
was quite unable to capture them. 

Fam. 5. Solenostomatidae. 

Body compressed. Skin with stellate ossifications. Tail very short. 
Teeth absent. Two dorsal fins ; spinous dorsal short but elevated, 
well separated from s-oft dorsal. Soft dorsal and anal on elevated 
bases, opposite, rays short. Ventrals situate well forward, below 
spinous dorsal, large, composed of 7 rays, free in male, jointed to the 
body in the female to form a brood-pouch. Pectoral rays numerous 
but short. Caudal fin large. Branchiostegals 4. Gills lobate. 
Gill-rakers (?). Lateral line obsolete. Air-bladder absent. Pseudo- 
branchiae absent. 

A single genus, with the characters of the family, containing a few 
. species from the Indo-Pacific region. 

Gen. SoLENOSTOMA Lacep. 
1803. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, p. 360. 

^' Soleno stoma cyanopterus Blkr. 
1854. Bleeker, Nat. Tyds. Ned. Ind., vol. vi, p. 507. 
1866. Giinther, Fishes Zanzibar, p. 137, pi. xx, figs. 2, 3. 
1905. Jordan and Evermann, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., vol. xxiii 
(1903), p. 118, text-fig. 35. 



282 Annals of the South African Museum. 

]913. Weber, Siboga Exp. Fisb., pt. 65, text-fig. 33a, on p. 104. 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320. 

Deptb 5, lengtb of bead 2J, in lengtb of body. Eye not quite twice 
in postorbital part of bead, 7 in snout. Deptb of snout in middle 4| 
in its lengtb. Caudal peduncle deeper tban long, sborter tban base 
of 2nd dorsal. D V + 18-20; A 16-19. Dorsal spines balf lengtb 
of bead. Ventrals as long as snout. Caudal about equal to lengtb of 
bead. (Plate XI, fig. 4.) 

Length. — Up to 140 mm. 

Colour. — Pinkisb, witb small round black dots, 2 blue-black spots 
on spinous dorsal, dark patcbes on caudal. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distributio7i.- — Indo-Pacific to Japan. 

It sbould be noted tbat in tbis family, in contrast to tbe next 
family, tbe female carries tbe eggs in a brood-poucb formed by tbe 
ventral fins. Tbe inner walls of tbe brood-poucb are lined witb long 
filaments, arranged in series along tbe fin-rays, wbicb serve to retain 
tbe eggs in tbe poucb, 

Fam. 6. Syngnathidae. 
Pipe-fish ; Needle-fish ; Sea-horses. 

1912. Duncker, Jabrb. Hamburg. Wiss. Anst., vol. xxix, p. 219. 

1915. Id., ibid., vol. xxxii, p. 9 (revision). 

Body elongate or very elongate, compressed or slender, and cylindri- 
cal, encased in bony rings forming a complete carapace. Tail long, 
sometimes prebensile. Teetb absent. One dorsal fin composed of 
soft rays (absent in Penetopteryx Lunel, 1881. Syn : Apterygocampus 
Weber, 1913). Pectorals small or wanting. Ventrals absent. Caudal 
usually present but small. Anal minute but usually present, often 
rudimentary or even absent. Gills lobate. Gill-opening reduced to 
a very small opening near upper angle of gill-cover. Gill-rakers 
absent. Pseudobrancbiae absent. Brancbiostegals absent. Lateral 
line present or absent. 

A large family ranging over tbe wbole globe. Most of tbe species 
are marine, but some are estuarine or even fluviatile. Tbey are found 
in sandy and muddy localities, and especially wbere tbere is an abund- 
ant growtb of Sea-grass (Zostera), Laminarians, and Fucus. Tbe 
Sea-borses present a remarkable instance of adaptation to a more or 
less sedentary mode of life, and of protective resemblance. In tbe 
latter respect tbe most remarkable are some of tbe Australian species 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 283 

of Phyllopteryx, in which the spines and knohs on the body are furnished 
with irregular flexible flaps of skin exactly resembling the leaves of 
the Fucus. 

Perhaps even more remarkable is the method of protecting the 
developing eggs. Throughout the family the care of the brood 
devolves on the male, and for this purpose the ventral surface is 
modified in various ways. 

The simplest mode is found in the European and N. Atlantic genera 
Entelurus and Nerophis, where the eggs are glued together in a mass 
forming a plate adherent to the belly. 

In Syngnathoides and Solenognathus the eggs are embedded singly 
in a spongy mass, but without any protective covering. 

Protective coverings are formed either by dermal folds {Doryrham- 
phus) or projections from the bony rings of the body armature {Belo- 
nichthys). Both kinds of protective coverings may be present together 
(Syngnathus) . But whereas the protective (bony) plates never fuse, 
the dermal folds frequently join, either temporarily while the brood 
is hatching, or permanently. 

The highest development of the brood-pouch is found in Hippo- 
campus, where the dermal folds are completely fused, leaving only a 
small aperture open in front. This small opening, moreover, can 
be completely closed by a muscle. 

Except in the simplest mode where the eggs are glued to the belly 
in a mass, two portions of the ventral surface may be utilised for 
purposes of carrying and protecting the brood : either the belly or 
the basal part of the tail. The family may thus be divided into the 
Gastrophori and the Urophori respectively. 

There is a further peculiarity about the young in this family. In 
the majority of bony fishes and also in the two genera Entelurus and 
Nerophis the larva when hatched has merely a fold of skin without 
rays representing the fins ; but in all the other Syngnathidae the larva 
is hatched with definitely developed fins with rays. 

In order to distinguish clearly the numerous genera and species, it 
is necessary to detail the composition of the encasing armature and 
name the various parts. 

With the exception of the 1st body ring, or shoulder ring, each ring 
corresponds with one vertebra. The trunk rings, i.e. those between 
the shoulder ring and the vent, are composed of 7 plates, the tail 
rings of 4 plates (text-fig. 17 a, b). Each plate is angularly bent in 
the middle, forming a keel externally. The keels on the successive 
plates, being contiguous, form a ridge or crest (crista). Thus there 



284 



Annals of the South African Museum. 



are on each, side of the trunk 3 crests : a supero-lateral (C. sup. t.), 
a medio-lateral (C. med. t.), and an infero-lateral (C. inf. t.). On the 
tail there are only two, a supero-lateral (C. sup. c.) and an infero- 
lateral (C. inf. c). The varying manner in which the transition 
occurs from thie 3 trunk crests to the 2 tail crests forms a valuable 
method of separating the genera. 

Thus, in the South African forms, the supero-lateral and infero- 



C.subt 



C.Sub C. 




C.^nfc 



C-Lnf. r. C.melt. 




Fig. 17." — Diagrammatic cross-sections through the trunk (A) and tail (B) regions 
to show disposition of the keeled plates. Diagrams to show transition from 
the three trunk crests to the two tail crests in various genera : G, Syng- 
natJms acus : D, Syngnatlms spicifer ; E, Syngnatlioides ; F, Belonichthys, 
Tozia, and Ui2ypocampus ; G, Co)-ytkoichthys. (Original, but after Duncker.) 



lateral ridges are continuous on the trunk and tail in Syngnathoides, 
but discontinuous in the other genera. The medio-lateral trunk 
ridge is continuous with the infero-lateral on the tail in Belonichthys, 
Yozia, and Hippocampus. In Syngnathus the medio-lateral trunk 
ridge may be continuous with, as a rule, the supero-lateral, but 
sometimes with the infero-lateral tail ridge. In Corythoichthys it is 
subcontinuous with the supero-lateral tail ridge (see text-fig. 17, c-g). 

The 1st trunk ring (shoulder ring) has, in addition to the paired 
supero-lateral plates, 2-3 unpaired mediodorsal plates ; one pre- 
nuchal and 1-2 nuchal plates. 

The number of body rings in the whole body and in the region of 
the dorsal fin, as well as the number of fin-rays, seems to be very 
constant for each species. But the fact that injuries to the tail often 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 285 

occur, and that the animals possess the power of rejuvenating the lost 
parts to a greater or lesser extent, necessitate a certain caution in 
identifying individual specimens. The number of trunk rings is more 
important than the number of tail rings. 

In the following descriptions the number of body rings is given, 
those of the trunk first, then those of the tail. Subdorsal rings are 
those over which the base of the dorsal fin extends. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Brood-pouch on belly (Gastrophori). 

A. Eggs embedded singly in a spongy mass without covering. C. sup. t. and c. 

continuous. Caudal fin absent, tail prehensile . Syngnathoides. 

B. Eggs protected by lateral plates. C. sup. t. and c. discontinuous. Caudal 

fin present, tail not prehensile .... Belonichthys. 
II. Brood-pouch on tail (Urophori). 

A. Tail not prehensile. Caudal fin present. 

1. C. inf. t. and c. continuous. Dorsal fin mainly on tail. 

a. C. med. t. continuous with C. sup. c. or C. inf. c. Syngnathus. 

b. C. med. t. subcontinuous with C. sup. c. Corythoichthys. 

2. C. inf. t. and c. discontinuous. Dorsal fin about equally on trunk 

and tail ........ Yozia. 

B. Tail prehensile ; caudal fin absent. C. inf. t. and c. discontinuous 

Hippocampus. 

Gen. Syngnathoides Blkr. 
( = Gastrotokeus Kaup.) 

1837. Bleeker, Nat. Tidjs. Ned. Ind., vol. ii, p. 231. 

1856. Kaup, Cat. Lophobr. Fish. Br. Mus., p. 18 {Gastrotokeus). 

1915. Duncker, loc. cit., p. 38 (Gastrotokeus). 

1921. Weber and de Beaufort, Zool. Mededeel, vol. vi, pt. 1, p. 67. 

Eggs embedded singly in a spongy mass on belly, without covering. 
Tail prehensile, without fin. Dorsal fin mainly caudal in position. 
Two nuchal plates, no prenuchal plate. Operculum without keel. 
Trunk depressed, its lateral margins formed by C. med. t., C. sup. t., 
and c. continuous. C. inf. t. and c. continuous. C. med. t. almost or 
quite reaching the C. sup. c. at the hind end of dorsal. Lateral line 
absent. 

A single widely-distributed species. Weber and de Beaufort have 
vindicated the name Syngnathoides for this genus. 

Syngnathoides biaculeatus (Bl.). 

1785. Bloch, Ausland. Fische., vol. i, p. 10, pi. cxxi, figs. 1, 2. 
1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 681, pi. clxxiv, fig. 5. 



286 Annals of the South African Museum. 

1915. Duncker, he. cit., p. 38 (references). 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat, Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320. 

Kings 15-17 (trunk) +40-54 (tail), subdorsal 1-2 (trunk) +8-10 
(tail). Operculum radiately striate. Snout about twice postorbital 
part of head. Each supraorbital ridge ends behind in a sharp point. 
Chin with 2 barbels. Cutaneous papilliform or branched processes 
on various parts of the body. D 37-50, A 4-6, P 20-23. (Plate 
XI, fig. 5.) 

Length. — Up to 260 mm. 

Colour. — Pale brown or green, with or without light, reddish, or 
dark spots. 

Locality. — Natal coast, Delagoa Bay, Mozambique. 

Distribution. — Whole Indo-Pacific to China and Australia. 

Gen. Belonichthys Peters. 

1868. Peters, Eeise nach Mozamb. Fische., p. 108. 

1915. Duncker, loc. cit., p. 57. 

Brood-pouch abdominal, formed of bony plates (which are prob- 
ably joined at their posterior ends by dermal folds). Tail not pre- 
hensile, with caudal fin. Dorsal fin mainly on the trunk region. 
One prenuchal, 2 nuchal plates. Operculum without keel. Trunk 
not depressed. C. sup. t. and c. discontinuous. C. inf. t. and c. 
discontinuous. C. med. t. continuous with C. inf. c. Lateral line 
present. 

A single Indo-Pacific fluviatile species. 

^Belonichthys fluviatilis (Peters). 

1852. Peters, Ber. K. Preuss. Ak. Wiss. Berhn, p. 685. 

1868. Id., ibid., p. 109, pi. xx, fig. 5 {zambezensis). 

1915. Boulenger, Freshwater Fish. Afr., vol. iii, p. 82, fig. 68 
{zambezensis). 

1915. Duncker, loc. cit., p. 58. • 

Rings 19-20+18-24, subdorsal 11-12+4-5. Operculum finely 
radiately striate. Snout nearly as long as postorbital part of head. 
D 64-69, A 4, P 17-20. 

Length. — Up to 188 mm. 

Colour. — Yellowish brown, with black specks and a dark streak on 
either side of head. 

Locality. — Lower Zambesi River (Tette) and rivers of Mozambique. 

Distribution. — E. Africa, Madagascar, Celebes, Philippine Islands. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 287 

Gen. Syngnathus Linn. 

1758. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 336. 

1915. Duncker, loc. cit., p. 78. 

Brood-pouch caudal, with more or less strongly developed bony 
plates, and broad dermal folds, often uniting during the period of 
incubation. Tail not prehensile, with caudal fin. Dorsal fin 
mainly on the tail, its base not raised. Pectoral with 17 or fewer 
rays. One prenuchal and 1 nuchal plate. Operculum with more or 
less complete horizontally longitudinal ridge. C. sup. t. and c. 
discontinuous. C. inf. t. and c. continuous. C. med. t. continuous 
with C. inf. c. or more usually with C. sup. c. Lateral line present. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Operculum with ridge only in anterior part. C. med. t. continuous with C. 
sup. c. . . . . . . , . . Syngnathus s. str. 

A. Plates terminating in a spine ...... phlegon. 

B. Plates without spines. 

1. Dorsal with 35 or more rays . . . . . ac2is. 

2. Dorsal with less than 35 rays. 

a. Trunk rings 19 . . . . . . teminincki. 

b. Trunk rings 17 . . . . . . pelagicus. 

II. Operculum with complete ridge extending along whole length 

s.g. Parasyngnathus. 

A. C. med. t. subcontinuous with C. inf. c. 

1. Brood-pouch extending over 15-21 rings. Abdomen with black 

and white cross -bands ..... spicifer. 

2. Brood-pouch extending over 12-15 rings. Abdomen uniform 

cyanospilvs. 

B. C. med. t. subcontinuous with C. sup. c. . . . [ansorgei]. 

S. ansorgei Blgr. is a fresh- water species from the Quanza River, 
Angola, just outside the limits of our region (15° S.). 

Up to the present time the second part of Duncker's Monograph 
of the Syngnathidae containing the genus Syngnathus sensu stricto 
(and Hippocampus) has not been published, nor has any other author 
apparently undertaken a revision of the species in this genus. I have 
had, therefore, to take the characters of the species phlegon, temmincki, 
and pelagicus (none of which are represented in the South African 
Museum collection) from the inadequate descriptions of Giinther. 
Consequently, the characters here given may be unreliable. 

For example, in the numerous specimens in the South African 
Museum the extension of the supraorbital ridge over the temporal 



288 Annals of the South African Museum. 

region is a very variable feature, but I am unable to refer any of these 
specimens to any other species but acus. 



Syngnathus s. str. 
(=SlPHOSTOMA Kaf.) 

1810. Kafinesque, Caratt. Nuovi Gen., p. 18. 
Operculum with ridge at its base (anteriorly) only. 

Syngnathus acus Linn. 
Common Pipe-fish. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 88 (references and 
synonymy). 

Rings (15-18) 19-21 +38-44, subdorsal 1 +8-9. Operculum radi- 
ately striate, with a short basal ridge. Snout equal to length from 
anterior margin of orbit to root of pectoral. A mediodorsal ridge 
along snout, more or less serrulate. Supraorbital ridge usually 
continued over temporal region, but often faint. Plates without 
spines. D 35-41, commencing on last trunk ring. P 13-14. Brood- 
pouch extending over about 22 rings. 

Length. — Up to 300 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, more or less speckled, sometimes with whitish 
spots on the keels, forming a ring on every 4th or 5th segment. 

Locality. — Table Bay, False Bay to East London, littoral to 30 
fathoms, frequently entering estuaries of rivers. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean, eastern parts of Atlantic. 

^Syngnathus temminchi, Kaup. 

Temminck's Pipe-fish. 

1856. Kaup, Cat. Lophobr. Fish. Br. Mus., p. 36. 
1860. Bleeker, Vische v. d. Kaap, p. 56. 
1870. Gtinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 165. 
1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 89. 
Rings 19+37. Plates without spines. Snout equal to postorbital 
part of head. D 31, commencing in advance of vent. 
Colour. — Dirty yellowish brown, irregularly speckled. 
Locality. — Cape seas. 
Types in Leyden Museum. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 289 

^Syngnathus phlegon, Risso. 
Spiny Pipe-fish. 

1827. Risso, Eur. Merid., vol. iii, p. 181. 

1860. Bleeker, Visch. v. d. Kaap, p. 56. 

1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 156. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 89 (references). 

Rings 19+49-50. Plates terminating in a spine. Snout equal to 
distance from anterior margin of orbit to 2nd body ring. Supra- 
orbital ridge continued over temple. D 40-42, commencing in advance 
of vent. 

Colour. — Brownish. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean and temperate N. Atlantic. 

^•Syngnathus pelagicus Osb. 
Pelagic Pipe-fish. 

1757. Osbeck, Dagbok Resa Ostind, p. 305. 

1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 165. 

1896. Jordan and Evermann, Fish. Mid. N. Amer., vol. i, p. 767. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 89 (references). 

Rings 17+32-35, subdorsal 1+9. Plates without spines. Snout 
equal to distance from anterior margin of orbit to base of pectoral 
fin (Giinther ; twice in this distance, according to Jordan and 
Evermann). 

A median ridge on the nuchal plates. D 29-32, commencing on 
last trunk ring. Supraorbital ridge not continued over temple. 

Colour. — Brown, with or without light cross-bars on belly ; dorsal 
fin with oblique dark bars. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean, temperate and subtropical Atlantic, 
West Indies, Falkland Islands, Indo-Pacific to China and Australasia. 
Often met with in the Sargasso Sea and open sea amongst floating 
seaweed. 

Subgen. Parasyngnathus Duncker. 

1915. Duncker, loc. cit., p. 79. 
Operculum with complete ridge. 

Syngnathus spicifer Riipp. 
1840. Riippell, Neue Wirbelt. Fische., p. 143, pi. xxxiii, fig. 4. 
1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 678, pi. clxxiv, fig. 1. 
1915. Duncker, loc. cit., p. 79 (references). 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 19 



290 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Rings 14-16+37-42, subdorsal 6-7. Operculum with complete 
ridge and radiate striae. Snout equal to rest of head. D 25-31, 
commencing on 2nd (or 3rd) caudal ring ; A 2-3 ; P 14-18. Brood- 
pouch extending over 15-21 rings. C. med. t. almost touching 
C. inf. 0. C. sup. c. extending forwards on to 2nd caudal ring. 
C. sup. t. extending backwards to 6th caudal ring. C. ventr. t. 
prominent forming a sharp keel. 

Length.— V^ to 154 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish ; belly with alternating black and white cross- 
bands. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa, Indo-Pacific. 

*Syngnathus cyanospilus Blkr. 

1854. Bleeker, Nat. Tidsch. Ned. Ind., vol. vi, p. 114. 

1868. Peters, Reise u. Mozamb. Flussfisch., p. 104, pi. xx, fig. 3 
(mossambicus). 

1915. Duncker, loc. cit., p. 81 (references). 

Rings 13+32 and 36, subdorsal 1 +4-5. Operculum with complete 
ridge. Snout scarcely longer than postorbital part of head. D 21-25, 
commencing on last trunk ring ; A 2-3 ; P 12-16. Brood-pouch 
extending over 12-15 rings. C. med. t. almost touching C. inf. c. 
C. sup. t. and c. overlapping only on last trunk and first 2 caudal 
rings. C. ventr. t., especially in (J, strongly projecting. 

Length. — Up to 152 mm. 

Colour.- — Brownish, with dark cross-bands at the junctions of the 
trunk rings, ventral keel in (^ black, dorsal with dark oblique 
bars. 

Locality. — Mozambique. 

Distribution.— Indo-^aci&c. 

Gen. CoRYTHOiCHTHYS Dckr. 

1909. Duncker, Fauna S.W. Austral. Pisces, pt. 1, p. 237. 

1915. Id., ibid., p. 72. 

Brood-pouch caudal, without bony plates, dermal folds narrow, 
not joining together during the period of incubation. Tail not 
prehensile, with well-developed fin. Dorsal mostly on tail, its base not 
raised. One nuchal and 1 prenuchal plate. Forehead and eyes 
prominent, snout forming an angle with forehead. Operculum with 
complete horizontal longitudinal ridge. C. sup. t. and c. discon- 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 29 i 

tinuous. C. inf. t. and c. continuous. C. med. t. subcontinuous with 
C. sup. c. Lateral line present. 

This genus is very like Syngnathus (s. str.), but may be distinguished 
by the slight break between the C. med. t. and the C. sup. c, and (in 
adults) by the sharply defined angular profile of the snout and fore- 
head. Its range is Indo-Pacific and east coast of Central and South 
America, among coral-reefs. 

^Corythoichthys fasciatus (Gray). 

1832. Gray, Illustr. Ind. Zool., vol. i, pi. Ixxxix (Pise, pi. vi), 
figs. 2, 2a. 

1840. Eiippell, Neue Wirbelt. Fische., p. 144 (flavofasciatus). 

1902. Jordan and Snyder, Proc. U.S. Nat.Mus., vol. xxiv, p. 7, 
pi. V {isigakius). 

1913. Weber, Siboga Exp. Fische., pt. 65, p. 108, text-fig. 34 
(head only). 

1915. Duncker, loc. cit., p. 72 (references and synonymy). 

Rings 15-18+33-37, subdorsal 0-l-}-5-6. Snout subequal to 
length of rest of head, slender. Occiput and nuchal plates with strong 
scalloped median keel. D 25-32, A 3-4, P 14-18. Brood-pouch 
extending over 10-18 rings. 

Length. — Up to 173 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, with dark cross-bands composed of numerous 
longitudinal lines, with or without white spots between the bands ; 
operculum with one or two longitudinal stripes, a similar stripe on 
ventral surface of head, first 2-4 body rings with black cross-band in -^ 
or mottled in $. 

Locality. — Mozambique. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa and Indo-Pacific. 

Gen. YoziA J. and S. 

1903. Jordan and Snyder, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxiv, p. 8. 
Brood-pouch caudal, without bony plates, but with dermal folds. 

Tail not prehensile, with small caudal fin. Dorsal fin about equally 
on trunk and on tail, its base scarcely or only very slightly elevated. 
One prenuchal, 2 nuchal plates. Operculum with a ridge curving 
upwards towards the gill-opening, but usually distinct only at base. 
C. sup. t. and c. discontinuous. C. inf. t. and c. discontinuous. 
C. med. t. continuous with C. inf. c. Lateral line present. 
An Indo-Pacific genus. 



292 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Yozia bicoarctata (Blkr.). 
Slender Pipe-fish. 

1857. Bleeker, Act. Soc. Sci. Indo-Neerl., vol. ii, p. 99. 

1866. Giinther and Pla\'fair, Fish. Zanzibar, p. 140, pi. xx, fig. 5 
{Zanzibar ensis). 

1902. Jordan and Snyder, loc. cit., p. 8, pi. vi {wakanourae) . 

1915. Duncker, loc. cit., p. 107 (references and synonymy). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 309 (zanzibarensis). 

Kings 21-22+59-63, subdorsal 3+3-4. Operculum with radiate 
striae and faint keel. Snout 1 j-l| times rest of length of head, dorsal 
keel smooth. Ridges on body smooth, somewhat rounded. No 
cutaneous processes. D 27-29. Subdorsal region rather swollen, 
but base of dorsal fin scarcely elevated. A 4, P 16-17. Caudal 
very small, often rudimentary. Brood-pouch extending over 16-19 
rings. Trunk between the 6th and 13th rings rather swollen. 

Length. — Up to 325 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, with large black spots on snout, operculum, and 
sides of body ; irregular silvery spots on C. inf. t. ; sides of trunk and 
folds of brood-pouch sometimes speckled with white. 

Locality. — Natal coast, Delagoa Bay, 1-22 fathoms. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa, Indo-Pacific to China. 



Gen. Hippocampus Raf. 

1810. Rafinesque, Car. Nuovi Gen., p. 37. 

1915. Duncker, loc. cit., p. 115. 

Brood-pouch caudal, without bony plates, dermal folds completely 
and permanently fused, leaving a small opening in front which can 
be closed by a muscle. Tail prehensile, without caudal fin. Dorsal 
fin on a raised base, partly over trunk and partly over tail. Head 
sharply bent at right angles (or thereabouts) with axis of body. 
Two nuchal plates and 1 prenuchal, the latter expanded to form 
a coronet. The bony rings elongated in a transverse direction with 
their ridges more or less produced into tubercular or spiniform pro- 
cesses. C. sup. t. and c. discontinuous. C. inf. t. and c. discontinuous. 
C. med. t. continuous with C. inf. c. Lateral line present. 

The Sea-Horses are cosmopolitan in range. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 293 

Key to the South African species. 

A. 10 body rings. 2 knobs below dorsal ...... capensii. 

B. 11 body rings. 3 knobs below dorsal. 

1. Coronet low. 

a. P 17-18. Subdorsal rings 2+2 ..... kuda. 

b. P 1.5-16. Subdorsal rings 3+1 . . . novae-hollandiae. 

2. Coronet elevated ...... camelopardalis. 



^Hippocampus capensis B]gr. 
Cape Sea-Horse. 

1900. Boulenger, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. i, p. 11, pi. iii, fig. 2. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 90. 

Rings 10+34, subdorsal 2+1. Snout very short, shorter than 
postorbital part of head, scarcely twice diameter of eye. Tubercles 
absent on head and body, short and blunt on tail, 2 at base of dorsal. 
Coronet obsolete. D 17. P (?). 

Length. — Up to 90 mm. 

Colour. — Brown ; dorsal fin with black submarginal band. 

Locality. — Knysna . 

Type in British Museum ; cotypes in University of Cape Town 
Museum. 

I have seen no specimens of this species. Boulenger's figure does 
not seem to bear out his description as regards the number of body 
rings. 

Hippocampus kuda Blkr. 

1852. Bleeker, Nat. Tids. Ned. Ind., vol. iii, p. 82. 
1854. Id., ibid., vol. vi, p. 338 {poly taenia) . 

1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 202 {guttulatus 
part synonymy for Indian specimens). 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 682, pi. clxxiv, fig. 6 (guttulatus). 
1910. Id., Fische. d. Sudsee., vol. ix, p. 435 (synonymy). 
1913. Weber, Siboga Exp. Fische., pt. 65, p. 119. 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320 (and 
polytaenia). 

1923. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 9, pi. i, fig. 1 
{natalensis). 

Rings 11 +33-35, subdorsal 2+2. Snout equal to or slightly longer 
than postorbital part of head. Tubercles generally obtuse. Supra- 
orbital spine truncated, sometimes with a second smaller spine in 
front. Coronet low. D 16-18, P 17-18. (Plate XI, fig. 2.) 



294 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Length. — Up to 115 mm. 

Colour.— lAght or dark brown, uniform, or spotted and marbled, 
or witb broad irregular blackish cross-bands, dorsal fin with or with- 
out a dark submarginal band. 

Locality. — Natal coast, Delagoa Bay, Mozambique. 

Distribution.- — Indo-Pacific to Japan. 

This is a very variable species with a large number of synonyms, 
of which the latest appears to be natalensis von Bonde. With regard 
to the latter species there is an evident discrepancy between the text 
and the figure as to the position of the dorsal fin. The figure shows 
the fin extending over the last two body rings and the first two 
abdominal rings, which is probably correct. 

^Hippocampus novae-hoUandiae, Stndr. 

1866. Steindachner, SB. Ak. Wiss. Wien., vol. liii, p. 474, pi. i, 
fig. 2. 

1921. Waite and Hale, Eec. S. Austr. Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, p. 320, 
fig. 55. 

1921. Waite, ihid., vol. ii, pt. 1, p. 62, fig. 93 (<? and 2). 

1923. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., i, p. 9. 

Rings 11 -f32-36, subdorsal 3(2) -fl. Snout equal to rest of head. 
Tubercles somewhat acute in cd , blunt in ? and old individuals, every 
3rd or 4th tubercle on dorsal profile in $ more prominent than the 
others. Supraorbital spine low, blunt, a second smaller one in front 
of orbit. Coronet with 5-6 blunt tubercles. D 16-17, P 15-16. 

Length. — Up to 85 mm. 

Colour. — Brown with darker mottling. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 25 fathoms. 

Distribution. — S. and S.E. Australia. 

"^Hippocampus camelopardalis Bianc. 

1855. Bianconi, Nov. Comm. Inst. Sc. Bonon., p. 145, pi. i, fig. 3. 

1866. Glinther and Playfair, Fish. Zanzibar, p. 139, pi. xx, fig. 4 
{subcoronatus). 

1870. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. viii, p. 205. 

Rings 11+36, subdorsal 2-f2. Snout equal to postorbital part of 
head. Tubercles obtuse, 3 at base of dorsal. Supraorbital and 
occipital spines simple. Coronet elevated, subpentagonal at top. 
D18. 

Length. — Up to 100 mm. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 295 

Colour.— Vtiown ; head variegated with yellowish. 
Locality. — Mozambique. 
Distribution. — East coast of Africa. 

This species possesses a considerably higher coronet than the 
preceding species. 



Division 9. HYPOSTOMIDES. 

Air-bladder absent. No mesocoracoid. Body encased in bony 
plates which are firmly united on the trunk, but movably articulated 
on the tail. Snout produced forwards over mouth, but not tubular. 
Mouth inferior, without teeth. Lower pharyngeals separate. 
Gill-cover formed by a large plate. One rudimentary branchiostegal. 
Gill-opening narrow. No pseudobranchiae. One short dorsal and 
anal fin, without spines. Pectorals large, composed of a number of 
elongate rays some of which may be spinous. Ventrals abdominal, 
unbranched, of 1 spine and 1-3 rays. 

Fam. Pegasidae. 

With the characters above. 

This small family of Indo-Pacific- Australian fishes comprises three 
genera : Pegasus Linn., Parapegasus Dum., and Acanthopegasus McCull. 
These fishes are inhabitants of shallow or moderately deep water, 
and are easily recognised by the produced snout and the large pectorals 
which are spread out like wings, whence the name of Dragon-fish. 

No record of this family has yet been published, but I have been 
shown by Dr. Gilchrist a specimen taken in the survey of the coast off 
Portuguese East Africa. 

Division 10. LABYRINTHICL 

Air-bladder without an open duct (physoclystic). No mesocora- 
coid. Fins with or without spines. Dorsal and anal fins long. 
Ventrals, if present, abdominal, but well forward. Lower pharyngeals 
separate. Scales cycloid or ctenoid. An accessory suprabranchial 
organ in a cavity above the gills. Pseudobranchiae rudimentary or 
absent. Branchiostegals 4-6. 

Fresh-water fishes confined to South-Eastern Asia and neighbouring 
islands, and Africa. They are mostly carnivorous, and are note- 
worthy for their ability to live out of water for a considerable time. 



296 Annals of the South African Museum. 

The Indian Climbing Perch {Anabas scandens) is the best known 
representative of this division. 

Descriptions of the Cape Kerper {Anabas capensis) and the other 
South African species will be found in the " Freshwater Fishes of 
South Africa," p. 542. 

Division 11. PERCESOCES. 

Air-bladder without an open duct (physoclystic). No mesocoracoid. 
Two dorsal fins, the first spinous. Ventrals abdominal but well 
forward. Lower pharyngeals separate. Scales usually cycloid. 
Pseudobranchiae present. Branchiostegals 5-7. 

The fishes in this division represent transitional stages between the 
lower Pike-like forms and the higher typical Perch-like forms ; hence 
the name {Perca and Esox). Many of them, such as the Mullets and 
Barracudas, are edible fishes of considerable economic importance. 

Key to the South African families . 

1. Pectoral fin not divided. 

a. Pectoral fin high up. Teeth minute. 

i. A burnished silver (or blackish) lateral stripe . . Atherinidae. 

ii. More or less silvery all over, without a burnished lateral stripe 

Miigilidae. 

b. Pectoral fin nearer ventral than dorsal profile. Teeth large Sphyraenidae. 

2. Pectoral fin divided into two portions, the lower fiiamentous . Polynemidae. 

Fam. 1. Atherinidae. 
Silversides. 

1919. Jordan and Hubbs, Stanford Univ. Publ. (revision). 

Body elongate. Scales cycloid or ctenoid. No lateral line, but the 
scales sometimes with pits or rudimentary mucous canals. Mouth 
rather large, strongly protractile, teeth feeble, on jaws and sometimes 
on vomer and palatine, maxilla excluded from border of upper jaw. 
Pectoral fins inserted high up. Ventral fins more or less closely 
approximate to the pectorals, the pelvic bones connected with the 
clavicles by a ligament. Pseudobranchiae present. Gill-rakers 
usually long. Branchiostegals 5-6. No pyloric caeca. 

Small carnivorous fishes inhabiting the coastal waters in tropical 
and temperate regions ; some are fluviatile. A characteristic silvery 
lateral stripe is present in most species, but sometimes (usually in 
specimens preserved in formalin) replaced by a black stripe. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 297 

Although smaller and of less economic value than the Mullets, 
these fishes are excellent eating. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Breast and belJy rounded. Head and body scaly. 

a. Upper edge of mandible expanded and elevated posteriorly . Atherina. 

b. Mandible not expanded posteriorly ..... Hepsetia. 

2. Breast and belly sharp. Head and anterior part of body scaleless . Iso. 

Gen. Atherina (Artedi) Linn. 

1738. Artedi, Synon. Pise, p. 116. 

1758. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 315. 

Breast and belly rounded. Head and entire body scaly. Scales 
rather large. Cleft of mouth extending to or just beyond anterior 
border of eye. Upper edge of mandible expanded and elevated 
posteriorly. Premaxilla narrowed posteriorly. Edges of upper jaw 
nearly straight. Villiform teeth in jaws and on vomer and palatine. 
Vent situate far from origin of anal fin. 

The posterior expansion of the ramus of the lower jaw can easily 
be seen by opening the mouth. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. A distinct pit on each scale of the lateral line .... afra. 

2. No pits on the lateral line scales . . . . ■ . . . breviceps. 

Atherina afra Peters. 
Black-backed Silversides. 

1855. Peters in Wiegm. Arch., p. 244. 

1861. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iii, p. 398. 

Depth 5|, length of head i^, in length of body. Eye 3 in length 
of head, equal to interorbital width, longer than snout. Teeth 
distinct in jaws and on vomer and palatine. D VI +1 10, A I 13-14. 
First dorsal arising immediately opposite vent which is midway 
between root of ventrals and anal. Tips of ventrals scarcely reaching 
vent. Scales : 1.1. 36-39, l.tr. 6, predorsal 16, 5 between 1st and 2nd 
dorsals. Lateral streak on 3rd row of scales. Each scale of the lateral 
line with a small but distinct round pit. 

Length. — Up to 75 mm. 

Colour. — Pale silvery, the scales on the back blackish with light 
dots, a brilliant silvery lateral stripe (becoming black when preserved 
in formalin). 



298 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Locality. — Delagoa Bay, Mozambique coast. 

Althougli Peters' description is brief, I have no hesitation in identi- 
fying the three specimens with his species, with which they agree in 
all the characters he mentions. 



Atherina breviceps C. and V. 
Cape Silversides ; Spieringtje ; Assous. 

1835. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. x, p. 445. 

1835. Id., ibid., p. 446 (parvipinnis) . 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 95. 

Depth 4|-5J, length of head 4|-5, in length of body. Eye 3-3-|- 
in length of head, equal to interorbital width, and equal to or slightly 
longer than snout. Teeth distinct in jaws and on vomer. D VI(-VII) 
+1 13-14, A I 16-18. First dorsal arising opposite or slightly in 
advance of vent, according as latter is almost midway between 
ventrals and anal or distinctly nearer the ventrals. Tips of ventrals 
likewise scarcely or just reaching vent according to its position. 
Scales : 1.]. 45-49, l.tr. 10, predorsal 23-25, interdorsal 7-9. Lateral 
streak on 5th row of scales (and adjoining angles of 4th and 6th). 
No pits on the scales in lateral line. (Plate XII, fig. 1.) 

Length. — Up to 110 mm. 

Colour. — Pale silvery, with more or less distinct black speckles on 
back, a brilliant silvery lateral stripe. Ovary covered with black 
peritoneum. 

Locality.- — Port NoUoth, Table Bay, False Bay to East London ; 
frequently living in estuaries and brack-water vleis. 

The above description is based entirely on the South African 
Museum specimens, and although in general agreement with the rather 
inadequate original description, diverges very strongly therefrom in 
one particular. Cuvier and Valenciennes state that the depth is 
contained 7 times, the length of the head 6i times, in the length of 
body. Giinther confirms this, apparently from examination of an 
actual specimen. Even including the tail in the length, I have not 
seen any specimens so slender. Nevertheless I cannot doubt that the 
present specimens should be identified as breviceps. 

The varying position of the vent seemed at first to indicate that 
perhaps two species were being confused. But I could find no other 
structural difference correlated therewith ; and moreover, there were 
specimens taken together from the same shoal showing variation in 
this respect. Nor is the difference in position sexual. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 299 

A further question arises, namely the validity of Cuvier and Valen- 
ciennes' second species parvipinnis. The description is hopelessly 
inadequate, but such characters as are given fall within the limits of 
variation as given above for breviceps. And as I have seen specimens 
from widely separated localities all round the coast, I believe that there 
is only the one species. 

A. breviceps appears to extend eastwards as far as East London ; 
on the east coast it is replaced by A. afra. Neither species has yet 
been found in Natal, though eventually one or other, or perhaps both, 
will be discovered. 

Gen. Hepsetia Bon. 

1832. Bonaparte, Faun. Ital. Pesc, fasc. 91. 

Breast and belly rounded. Head and entire body scaly. Scales 
rather large. Cleft of mouth extending to or just beyond anterior 
border of eye. Upper edge of mandible not expanded posteriorly. 
Edge of upper jaw nearly straight. Vent situate far from origin of 
anal fin. 

Hepsetia pinguis (Lacep.). 

1803. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. v, p. 372, pi. ii, fig. 1. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 311 (references). 

1921. Weber, Zool. Meded., vol. vi, pt. 1, p. 52. 

Depth 4J, length of head 3§-4, in length of body. Eye 2^ in length 
of head, equal to interorbital width, nearly twice length of snout. 
Teeth distinct in jaws and on vomer and palatine. D V+I 9-10, 
A I 13-14. Eirst dorsal arising behind vertical from vent, which is 
slightly nearer to root of ventral than to anal ; distance of 1st dorsal 
from operculum 1J-1| times length of head. Scales : 1.1. 40, l.tr. 
6, predorsal 18, interdorsal 6. Lateral streak on 3rd row of scales, and 
adjoining angles of 4th. Each scale of lateral line with a small pit. 

Length. — Up to 120 mm. 

Colour. — Pale silvery, the back speckled with darker, a brilliant 
silver lateral stripe, a blackish blotch on tip of pectoral (usually). 

Locality. — Natal and Zululand coasts. 

Distribution.- — Indo-Pacific to Australia. 

The above description is taken from actual specimens. As Regan 
has already recorded this species from Kosi Bay (Zululand), I have 
simply followed him without entering the discussion as to the synonymy 
of this species or whether the forms from different parts of the Indo- 
Pacific can be divided into well-marked varieties or species. Weber 



300 Annals of the South African Museum. 

[loc. eit.) reckons for sic ali Riipp. synonymous with jpinguis ; and the 
present specimens seem to accorcibetter with that species (as described 
in Glinther, Brit. Mus. Cat., vol. iii, p. 397) than with the description 
of Jpinguis (see also Ogilby, Mem. Queensl. Mus., vol. i, 1912, p. 36, 
figs.). 

Gen. Iso J. and S. 

190l. Jordan and Starks, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxiv, p. 204. 

Body strongly compressed, breast sharply keeled. Belly with a 
thick, sharp fold of skin (at least in o). Head and anterior part of 
body scaleless. Scales small. Cleft of mouth extending to below 
anterior margin of eye. Edge of upper jaw curved. Teeth very small 
in jaws and on vomer and palatine. Vent situate near origin of anal 
fin. 

Only two species known. The Japanese species flosmaris J. and 
S. lives in the surf breaking into tide pools, and is known as the 
Surf-sardine. 

^Iso natalensis Regan. 
Natal Surf-sardine. 

1919. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 4, p. 200, fig. 3. 

Depth 3i, length of head 4|, in length of body. Eye not quite 3 
in length of head, longer than snout. Maxilla extending to below 
anterior J of eye. D IV-j-I 16, A I 22. First dorsal arising about 
midway between root of ventrals and anal. Scales (?). 

Length. — Up to 52 mm. 

Colour. — " A broad bluish-silvery lateral band, margined above with 
a blackish stripe " (Regan). 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Type in British Museum. 

Fam. 2. Mugilidae. 
Mullets ; Harders. 
Body elongate. Scales cycloid, or with the edges finely denticulate. 
No lateral Line, but the scales usually with pits or rudimentary mucous 
canals. Mouth small or moderate, protractile ; maxilla excluded 
from margin of upper jaw ; teeth in jaws (and occasionally on palate) 
minute, or absent. Pectoral fins inserted high up. Ventral fijis more 
or less closely approximate to the pectorals ; pelvic bones suspended 
from the postclavicles. Pseudobranchiae present. Gill-rakers long. 
Branchiostegals 5-6. The upper part of the stomach very tough and 
muscular, like a bird's gizzard. Pyloric caeca few. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 301 

Mullets, or Harders, as they are known in South Africa, are cosmo- 
politan in range in all temperate and tropical climes. The species 
are numerous, rather variable, and often difficult to differentiate. 
They live in large shoals along the coasts, never going far out to sea, 
and in estuaries, brack- water lagoons, and rivers. Some species seem 
to be permanently fluviatile. They feed on mud, which is triturated 
between the pharyngeal bones and in the gizzard-like portion of the 
stomach, and from which they extract the organic particles. The 
gill-rakers also act as efficient strainers of the water which passes 
through the gills. They also feed on the minute organisms and algae 
floating on the surface of the water. 

The breeding habits and life-history are not at all well known. The 
adults appear to come in shore, and especially into brackish water 
and estuaries, to spawn, and the difficulty of obtaining the eggs and 
young larvae may be that in brackish water the eggs would probably 
sink to the bottom (c/. Meek, Migrations of Fish, p. 205, 1916, and 
Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 12, 1916). 

Harders are everywhere highly prized as an article of food. They 
are captured in large numbers by means of Seine-nets operated either 
from boats or from the shore. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. No true teeth in jaws or on palate ...... Mugil. 

2. A single row of teeth in upper, and sometimes also in lower, jaw . . MyxiLS. 

Gen. MuGiL (Artedi) Linn. 

1738. Artedi, Gen. Pise, p. 32. 

1758. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 316. 

Body somewhat compressed, the head frequently depressed and 
flat on top. Minute cilia-like teeth in one row or a few rows in jaws, 
none on vomer or palate (in many species the teeth are better developed 
in the young, which thus resemble the species of the genus Myxus, 
q.v.). Eye large, with or without adipose eyelids (which in any case 
are not so well developed in the young). 

Key to the Sotith African species. 

I. Adipose eyelids well or moderately well developed. 

A. Eyelids large, reaching at least to the pupil .... cephalus. 

B. Eyelids moderate, not reaching pupil. 

1. Scales 1.1. 40-42 . . . . . . . . speigleri 

2. Scales 1.1. 33-35 ........ cunnesius. 



302 



Annals of the South African Museum. 



II. Adipose eyelids rudimentary or obsolete. 

A. A scaly process in axil of pectoral. 

1. Pectoral shorter than head. 

a. Scales 1.1. 39^7. Pectoral f-| length of head 

b. Scales 1.1. 35-38. Pectoral | length of head . 

2. ■ Pectoral equal to head. 

a. Scales 1.1. 31-33 

b. Scales 1.1. 38-42 

B. No scaly axillary process. 

1. Lips thick and papillose . . . . 

2. Lips thin and smooth. 

a. Scales 1.1. 39^6. 

i. Pectoral f-| length of head . 
ii. Pectoral |-1 length of head . 

b. Scales 1.1. 30-35. 

i. Eye S^—il in head . . 

ii. Eye 5-5 J in head ..... 

c. Scales 1.1. 26-27. Caudal feebly emarginate . 



capita. 
. robustus. 

ceylonensis, 
seheli. 

crenilabis. 



saliens. 
auratus. 

macrolepis. 
. diadema. 
waigiensis. 



Mugil cephalus Linn. 
Harder ; Springer. 
1758. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 316. 

1836. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xi, p. 107 
{constantiae). 

1849. Smith, Illustr. S. Afr. Zool. Pisces, pi. xxviii, figs. 1, la 
{constantiae). 

? 1861. Castelnau, Mem. Poiss. I'Afr. Austr., p. 48 {camptosiensis). 
1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 97 (references). 

1916. Boulenger, Freshwater Fish. Afr., vol. iv, p. 80, fig. 47. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 314 (references). 

Depth 3f-5, length of head 4-4i, in length of body. Eye 3 (young) 
to 5 length of head, 1-1— 2|- in interorbital width, better visible from 
below than above in adult, to a large extent covered by well-developed 
adipose eyelids, the posterior one extending at least up to pupil, 
usually covering part of pupil. Snout as long as &ye, (adult), shorter 
in young. Nostrils rather far apart. Mouth (viewed from below) 
forming an obtuse angle, or semicircle in very large specimens. Maxilla 
almost completely concealed when mouth closed. A lanceolate space 
between rami of lower jaw. Upper lip narrow, with less than half 
eye. Preorbibal finely serrated. D IV + 1 7, A III 8. Second dorsal 
arising above anterior third or middle of anal. Pectoral f-f length 
of head, with a large scaly axillary process. Caudal deeply forked. 
Scales : 1.1. 39-45 ; l.tr. 14-16. Two series on cheek. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 303 

Length. — Up to 560 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish, olive, or bluish above, silvery-white belov/, a 
series of darker streaks along the sides ; fins greyish, a more or less 
distinct dark spot at root of pectoral. 

Locality. — Table Bay to Natal, entering rivers and fresh-water 
vleis. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean, west coast of Africa, United States 
to Brazil, Pacific coast of South America, Hawaii Islands. 

This species of Harder is at once distinguished from all other South 
African species by its adipose eyelids. In some young and half-grown 
specimens the mouth forms a right angle, a character relied upon by 
Boulenger to separate the Indian Ocean species oeur Forsk. from 
cephalus. M. oeur, however, appears to lack the dark spot at base of 
pectoral. 

It is known as the Fresh-water Springer and is ofttimes to be 
obtained in Princess and Zee-koe Vleis on the Cape Flats, though it 
does not appear to be very common. 

Mugil speigleri Blkr. 
Speigler's Mullet. 

1859. Bleeker, Nat. Tijds. Ned. Ind., vol. xvi, p. 279. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 348, pi. Ixxiv, fig. 1 (references). 

Depth 4, length of head 4^, in length of body. Eye 3i in length 
of head, H-l| in interorbital width, better visible from below than 
above, adipose eyelids moderately developed, the posterior one better 
developed than the anterior, but not extending up to pupil. Snout 
rather shorter than diameter of eye. Nostrils close together. Mouth 
forming a right angle. End of maxilla visible when mouth closed. A 
short and narrow lanceolate space between rami of mandibles. Upper 
lip rather broad, but not more than half diameter of eye, forming end 
of snout; preorbital serrated. D IV +1 8, A III 9. Second dorsal 
arising over anterior ^ of anal. Pectoral as long as head, with large 
axillary process. Caudal deeply forked. Scales: 1.1.40-42; l.tr. 12. 
Four series on cheek. 

Length. — Up to 200 mm. (South African Museum). 

Colour. — Dark greyish above, silvery below ; tips of both dorsals, 
end of caudal, and a spot at base of pectoral more or less distinctly 
dark. 

Locality. — Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution.- — Indo-Malay seas. 



304 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Mugil cunnesius C. and V. 

1831. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xi, p. 114. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 349, pi. Ixxiv, fig. 3 (references). 

Depth subequal to length of head, 3|-4J in length of body. Eye 
3^-4 in length of head, 1^ in interorhital width, better seen from 
below than above, adipose eyelids moderately developed, the posterior 
one better developed than the anterior but not reaching to the pupil. 
Snout rather shorter than eye. Nostrils rather far apart. Mouth 
forming a right angle. Maxilla completely concealed when mouth 
closed. A short and narrow lanceolate space between rami of 
mandibles. Upper lip thin. Preorbital finely serrated. D IV +1 8, 
A III 9. Second dorsal arising above commencement of second third 
of anal. Pectoral as long as head, with large axillary process. Caudal 
deeply forked. Scales : 1.1. 33-35 ; l.tr. 12. Four series on cheek. 

Length. — Up to 400 mm. 

Colour. — Dark greyish above, silvery below, a dark axillary spot. 

Locality. — Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — Indo-Malay seas. 

Mugil capito Cuv. 

Harder ; Grey Mullet. 

1829. Cuvier, Regne Anim., 2nd ed., vol. ii, p. 232. 
1849. Smith, Illustr. S. Afr. Zool. Pisces, pi. xxx, fig. 1 [cajjensis 
non C. and V.). 

1849. Id., ibid., pi. xxx, fig. 2 {multilineatus) . 

1861. Castelnau, Mem. Poiss. I'Afr. Austr., p. 47 {smithi). 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 96 (references). 

1916. Boulenger, Freshwater Fish. Afr., vol. iv, p. 83, fig. 49. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 312 (references). 

Depth 4-5, length of head 3J (young) to 4J, in length of body. 
Eye 3 (young) to 5 in length of head, 1-2J in interorbital width, 
better visible from below than above in adult, adipose eyelids rudi- 
mentary. Snout nearly as long as eye in adult, shorter in young. 
Nostrils close together. Mouth forming an obtuse angle. Maxilla 
nearly completely hidden. A lanceolate space between rami of 
lower jaw. Upper lip narrow, width less than half eye. Preorbital 
finely serrated. D IV+I (8) 9-10, A III 9. Second dorsal arising 
above anterior third of anal. Pectoral f--f length of head, with 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 305 

large scaly axillary process. Caudal deeply forked. Scales : 1.1. 
40-47 ; l.tr. 14-16. Four to five series on cheek. 

Length. — Up to 400 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish or olive above, silvery white below, more or less 
distinct darker lateral stripes ; fins greyish, frequently a black spot 
at root of pectoral. 

Locality. — Table Bay to Natal, entering rivers. 

Distribution. — Atlantic from Scandinavia to South Africa, Mediter- 
ranean, Angola. 

*Mugil robustus Gnthr. 

Stout Mullet. 
1861. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iii, p. 432. 

1916. Boulenger, Freshwater Fish. Afr., vol. iv, p. 92, fig. 54. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 317 (references). 

Depth equal to length of head, 4 in length of body. Eye 3§-4j in 
length of head, l|-2 in interorbital width, better visible from below 
than above, adipose eyelids rudimentary. Snout as long or nearly as 
long as eye. Nostrils rather far apart. Mouth forming an obtuse 
angle. Maxilla entirely concealed when mouth closed. Space between 
rami of mandibles very narrow. Upper lip narrow not half diameter 
of eye. (Preorbital very finely denticulate.) D IV + 1 8, A III 9. 
Second dorsal arising above anterior third of anal. Pectoral a little 
more than f length of head, with a large scaly axillary process. 
Caudal deeply emarginate. Scales : 1.1. 35-38 ; l.tr. 12. Four series 
on cheek. 

Length. — Up to 240 mm. 

Colour. — Greenish golden above, lighter below, a small black spot 
in axil of pectoral. 

Locality. — Zululand coast. 

Distribution. — Madagascar. 

Mugil ceylonensis, Gnthr. 

Ceylon or Blue-tail Mullet. 
1861. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iii, p. 446. 
? 1861. Castlenau, Mem. Poiss. I'Afr. Austr., p. 49 {radians). 

1916. Boulenger, Freshwater Fish. Afr., vol. iv, p. 93, fig. 35. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mas., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 316 (references). 

Depth 3i-4|, length of head 4-4|^, in length of body. Eye 3^ 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 20 



306' Annals of the South African Museum. 

(young) to 5 in length of head, 1^ to nearly 3 in interorbital width, 
nearly perfectly lateral, adipose eyelids rudimentary. Snout very 
blunt, as long as eye in adult, shorter in young. Nostrils rather far 
apart. Mouth forming an obtuse angle. Maxilla entirely concealed 
when mouth closed. Space between rami of mandibles very narrow. 
Upper lip narrow, not half diameter of eye. Preorbital denticulate. 
D IV +1 8, A III 9. Second dorsal arising exactly opposite origin 
of anal. Pectoral equal to head, with large scaly axillary process. 
Caudal deeply emarginate. Scales : 1.1. 31-33 ; l.tr. 11-12. Three to 
four series on cheek. 

Length. — Up to 480 mm. 

Colour. — Dark greenish above, silvery white below, with or without 
indistinct dark lateral stripes, a small black spot at base of pectoral. 

Locality. — Natal, Zululand, Delagoa Bay, Chinde. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa to Ceylon. 

This species is easily distinguished from all the other species found 
in South Africa by its very short and bluntly rounded snout. 

There is a young specimen in the South African Museum, which 
cannot be identified with any other species, labelled from Knysna. 
The occurrence so far west of this east coast species is exceptional and 
may be due to a misplaced label. 

*Mugil seheli Forsk. 
Indian Mullet. 

1775. Forskal, Desc. Anim., p. 73. 

1916. Boulenger, Freshwater Fish. Afr., vol. iv, p. 91, fig. 53. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 317 (references). 

Depth 3J-4, length of head 4-4|, in length of body. Eye 3i-4f 
in length of head, lf-2j in interorbital width, better visible from 
below than above, adipose eyelids rudimentary. Snout as long as 
eye in adult, shorter in young. Nostrils moderately distant from 
one another. Mouth forming an obtuse angle. Maxilla entirely con- 
cealed when mouth closed. Rami of mandibles contiguous, leaving 
no intervening space. Upper lip narrow, not half diameter of eye. 
Preorbital finely denticulate. D IV +1 8, A III 9. Second dorsal 
arising opposite origin of anal. Pectoral as long as head, with large 
scaly axillary process. Caudal deeply forked. Scales : 1.1. 38-42 ; 
l.tr. 13-14. Four series on cheeks. 

Length. — Up to 370 mm. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 307 

Colour. — Dark brownish or greenish above, silvery beneath, a dark 
spot at base of upper pectoral rays. 
Locality. — Natal coast. 
Distribution. — East coast of Africa, Indo-Pacific 

Mugil crenilahis Forsk. 
Fleshy-lipped Mullet. 

1775. Forskal, Desc. Anim., p. 73. 

1836. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xi, p. 123. 

1836. Id., ibid., p. 125 {fasciaius). 

1861. Gunther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iii, p. 458. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 355 (references). 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320 (locality 
only). 

Depth 4J-5, length of head 4f-5, length of body. Eye 3| in length 
of head, If in interorbital width, adipose eyelids rudimentary. Snout 
blunt, shorter than diameter of eye. Mouth forming an obtuse angle. 
End of maxilla just visible. A very narrow space between rami of 
mandibles. Upper lip thick, with about 5 rows of fleshy tubercles, 
the lower ones branched. Lower lip thick, reflexed, also set with 
fleshy tubercles. Preorbital serrated. D IV +1 8, A III 9. Second 
dorsal arising opposite origin of anal. Pectoral nearly as long as head, 
no axillary process. Caudal deeply forked. Scales : 1.1. 41 ; l.tr. 13. 

Length. — Up to 200 mm. 

Colour. — Greenish brown above, whitish below, with or without 
5-6 indistinct dark cross-bands, a dark axillary spot. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Red Sea, Andamans, and Nicobars. 

This is the only species in South African waters with thick crenulate 
lips, and is easily recognised by this character. 

Mugil saliens Risso. 
Harder ; Springer. 
1810. Risso,_ Ichthyol. Nice, p. 345. 

1836. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. xi, p. 108. 
1849. Smith, Illustr. S. Afr. Zool. Pisces, pi. xxix, fig. 1 {richard- 
sonii) . 

1849. Id., ibid., pi. xxix, fig. 2 [euronotus). 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 100 (references). 

1916. Boulenger, Freshwater Fish. Afr., vol. iv, p. 85. 



308 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Depth 4^-5^, length of head U-il, in length of body. Eye 4-4^ 
in length of head, l|-2 in interorbital width, better seen from below 
than above in adult (lateral in young), adipose eyelids rudimentary. 
Snout as long as eye in young, longer in adult. Nostrils close together. 
Mouth forming an obtuse angle. Maxilla not quite completely con- 
cealed when mouth closed. A lanceolate space between rami of 
mandibles. Upper lip narrow, not half diameter of eye. Preorbital 
serrated. D IV +1 7-8, A III 9. Second dorsal arising above anterior 
third of anal. Pectoral f-f length of head, without axillary process. 
Caudal deeply forked. Scales : 1.1. 40-46 ; l.tr. 14-15. Four to 
five series on cheek. 

Length. — Up to 330 mm. 

Colour. — Dark above, silvery below, without or with indistinct 
lateral stripes. 

Locality. — Table Bay to East London. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean to South Africa. 

This species and capita are the two commonest species of Harder 
caught in Table Bay. Besides the presence or absence of the axillary 
process, the curve of the mouth as seen from below appears to be much 
more convex in saliens than in capita {cf. Athanassopoulos, Ann. Mus. 
Geneva, (3), vol. viii, p. 264, 1919). 

Mugil auratus Risso. 

Golden or Flathead Mullet. 

1810. Eisso, Ichthyol. Nice, p. 344. 

1861. Castelnau, Mem. Poiss. I'Afr. Austr., p. 50 {natalensis) . 

1916. Boulenger, Freshwater Fish. Afr., vol. iv, p. 86, fig. 50. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 312 (references). 

Depth 3^5, length of head 4-5, in length of body. Eye 4-5 in 
length of head, l|-2^ in interorbital width, better visible from below 
than above in adult, adipose eyelids rudimentary. Snout as long as 
or a little longer than eye in adult, shorter in young. Nostrils 
close together. Mouth forming an obtuse angle. Maxilla entirely 
or almost entirely concealed when mouth closed. A lanceolate 
space between rami of mandibles. Upper lip rather narrow, not 
exceeding half diameter of eye. Preorbital finely serrated. D IV +1 
7-8, A III 9. Second dorsal arising above anterior third of anal. 
Pectoral f-1 length of head, without axillary process. Caudal deeply 
forked. Scales : 1.1. 40-46 ; l.tr. 13-15. Four to five series on cheek. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 309 

Length. — Up to 400 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish or browm'sh above, silvery white below, with 
more or less distinct dark lateral stripes ; one or two golden spots on 
the gill-cover, with or without a dark red centre. 

Locality. — East London and Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Atlantic and Mediterranean. 

In a fresh state the golden opercular spot is sufficient to identify 
this species, which apparently does not occur in the neighbourhood 
of the Cape, though it reappears again off the Congo coast. 

*Mugil macrolejpis Smith. 
Large-scaled Mullet. 

1849. Smith, Illustr. S. Afr. Zool. Pisces, pi. xxviii, fig. 2. 
1861. Castelnau, Mem. Poiss. I'Afr. Austr., p. 49 {crenilepis). 
1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 100 (references). 

1916. Boulenger, Freshwater Fish, i^fr., vol. iv, p. 94, fig. 56. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 316 (references). 

Depth 3^-4J, length of head 4-4|, in length of body. Eye 3J 
(young) to 4J in length of head, l|-2 in interorbital width, better 
visible from below than above, adipose eyelids rudimentary. Snout as 
long as eye in adult, shorter in young. Nostrils close together. Mouth 
forming an obtuse angle. End of maxilla exposed when mouth 
closed. A narrow lanceolate space between rami of mandibles. 
Upper lip narrow, less than half diameter of eye. Preorbital finely 
serrated. D IV +1 8, A III 9. Second dorsal arising above anterior 
rays of anal. Pectoral |— f length of head, without axillary process. 
Caudal deeply forked. Scales : 1.1. 30-35 ; l.tr. 11-12. Three to four 
series on cheek. (Place XII, fig. 2.) 

Ijcngth. — Up to 350 mm. 

Colour. — Dark above, silvery below, with more or less distinct 
lateral stripes. 

Locality. — Algoa Bay, Natal, and Zululand. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa, Madagascar, S. Pacific. 

Mugil diadema G. and T. 
Diamond Mullet. 

1911. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. xi, p. 42. 
1917. Id., Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, p. 316. 



310 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Depth of body equal to length of head, 4^ in length of body. Eye 
5-5| in length of head, 2f in interorbital width, better seen from 
below than above, adipose eyelids rudimentary. Snout longer than 
eye. Nostrils close together. Mouth forming an obtuse angle. End 
of maxilla visible when mouth closed. A narrow lanceolate space 
between rami of mandibles. Upper lip narrow, less than half diameter 
of eye. Preorbital serrated. D IV +1 8, A III 9. Second dorsal 
arising over anterior rays of anal. Both supra-dorsal and anal some- 
what falciform, anterior rays of former | length of head. Pectoral 
nearly as long as head. No axillary process. Caudal deeply 
emarginate. Scales : 1.1. 30, l.tr. 12. Four series on cheek. 

Length. — Up to 313 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Dark above, light below, with a fine dark 
line on each scale. 

Locality. — Port Elizabeth and Natal coast. 

Type in South African Museum. 

This is the only species of Mullet confined to the South African 
coasts. It was formerly included by Boulenger with macrolepis, 
but, as Boulenger later recognised, is apparently distinguished 
by the more slender body (in shape resembling the W. African 
grandisquamis), longer snout, smaller eye, and falcate soft dorsal 
and anal fins. 

It does not seem to be a common species ; I have seen only the 
type. 

Mugil waigiensis Q. and G. 

1824. Quoy and Gaimard, Yoj. Uran. ZooL, p. 337, pi. lix, fig. 2. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. Ind., p. 359, pi. Ixxiii, fig. 4. 

1916. Boulenger, Freshwater Fish. Afr., vol. iv, p. 97, fig. 59. 

Depth 3J-4, length of head 3f-4, in length of body. Eye 3 (young) 
to 4^ in length of head, ly-2J in interorbital width, nearly perfectly 
lateral, without adipose lids. Snout as long as eye in adult, shorter 
in young. Nostrils rather far apart. Mouth forming an obtuse 
angle. Maxilla entirely concealed when mouth closed. A lanceolate 
space between rami of mandibles. Upper lip narrow, not half diameter 
of eye. Preorbital rather strongly denticulate. D IV + 1 7-8, 
A III 7-8. Second dorsal arising above middle of anal. Pectoral f-1 
length of head ; no axillary process. Caudal feebly emarginate. 
Scales : 1.1. 26-27, l.tr. 9. Three to four series on cheek. 

Length. — Up to 270 mm. 

Colour. — Dark above, silvery below, with more or less distinct 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 311 

dark streaks, greater part of pectoral, soft dorsal and anal 
blackish. 

Locality. — Natal, Delagoa Bay, Chinde. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa, Indo-Pacific. 



Gen. Myxus Gntlir. 

1861. Gunther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iii, p. 466. 

Similar to Mugil, but with a single row of small teeth in upper jaw, 
and sometimes also in lower jaw and on palate. Upper lip not very 
thick. Margin of lower jaw sharp. 

The species of this genus are scarcely distinct from the true Mullets 
except as regards the teeth ; and as remarked under the genus 
Mugil, the young of many species of Mugil have the teeth better 
developed than the adult and consequently have been assigned to 
this genus as distinct species (Boulenger, Freshwater Fish. Afr., 
vol. iv, p. 78, footnote). 

Myxus barnardi G. and T. 

1914. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. xiii, pt. 3, 
p. 83. 

Depth 3f , length of head 3, in length of body. Eye subequal to 
snout, 4| in length of head, 1^ in interorbital width, better visible 
from below than above, adipose eyelid better developed in front than 
behind, but not reaching pupil. Nostrils rather far apart. Mouth 
forming a right-angle. A single series of teeth in both jaws ; none on 
vomer or palatine. Maxilla completely concealed. A lanceolate 
space between rami of mandibles. Preorbital serrated. D IV +1 8, 
A III 8. Second dorsal arising above middle of anal. Pectoral 
f length of head, without axillary scale. Caudal deeply forked. 
Scales : 1.1. 38 (Gilchrist and Thompson, p. 41), 1. tr. 15. Two 
series on each cheek. 

Length. — Up to 60 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, darker above, with indistinct lateral stripes. 

Locality. — Durban Bay. 

Type in South African Museum. 

There are one or two misprints in the original description. Although 
not fully grown, this specimen seems to represent a distinct species. 
The anterior adipose eyelid is better developed than in any of the 
South African species of Mugil, except cephalus, with which species 



312 Annals of the South African Museum. 

the double series of cheek scales is also in accord ; but there is no 
trace of an axillary scale. Nevertheless the possibility of its being 
the young of M. cephalus should be borne in mind. 



Fam. 3. Sphyraenidae. 
Barracudas. 

Body very elongate. Scales small, cycloid. Lateral line complete. 
Mouth large, protractile, maxilla excluded from border of upper jaw. 
Teeth strong in both jaws and on palate. Pectoral fin nearer ventral 
than dorsal profile. Ventral fins more or less behind pectorals, pelvic 
bones not connected with pectoral girdle. Pseudobranchiae well 
developed. Gill-rakers very short or obsolete. Branchiostegals 7. 
Pyloric caeca numerous. 

The Barracudas are carnivorous fishes, often of large size, found in 
all warm seas and frequently ascending estuaries and rivers. They 
resemble the European Pike in the shape of the jaws, and are equally 
voracious. In many countries they are esteemed as food. 



Gen. Sphyraena (Artedi). 

1738. Artedi, Syn. Pise, p. 112. 

1829. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. iii, p. 325. 

With the characters of the family. There are two large teeth in 
the front of the premaxilla, and a single series of small teeth on its 
edge ; largest teeth on mandible in front, followed by small ones 
and then again large ones in a single series ; large teeth on the 
palatine, none on vomer. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Ventral fins about midway between end of lower jaw and base of caudal fin, 
behind end of pectoral fins. 

A. First dorsal behind end of pectoral ..... vulgaris, 

B. First dorsal above end of pectoral .... acutipinnis. 
II. Ventrals much nearer end of lower jaw than base of caudal, below pectoral fin. 

A. First dorsal above end of pectoral. MaxiUa reaching orbit. Operculum 

with 2 points. 

1. Scales : l.I. 120 jello. 

2. Scales : 1.1. 80-90 ...... commersoni. 

B, First dorsal behind end of pectoral. Maxilla not reaching orbit. 

Operculum with one point ...... obtusata. 



PLATE XII. 

FIO. 

1. Atherina breviceps C. and V. (original) 

2. Mugil macrolepis Smth. (after Smith) 

3. Sphyraena acutipinnis Day (after Day) 

4. Polijnemus sextarius Bl. (original) 

5. Merlucchis capensis Cast, (original) 



TEXT-PAGE 
298 

309 
313 
317 
320 



Ann S. Afr. Mus., Vol. XXI 



Plate XII 




Xem & Co., Ltd. 



x 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 313 

*Sphyraena vulgaris C. and V. 
European Barracuda ; Spet. 

1829. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. iii, p. 327. 

1850. Cuvier, Regne Anim. Poiss., pi. xviii, fig. 1. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 102 (references). 

Depth 9-10, length of head 3|, in length of body. Eye 8 in length 
of head. Operculum with a single fleshy point. Lower jaw with a 
long fleshy appendage anteriorly. Maxilla extending to vertical 
from anterior edge of eye. D V + I 9, A I 9. First dorsal arising 
far behind tip of pectoral, about midway between end of lower jaw 
and base of caudal. Interspace between the 2 dorsals not quite half 
length of head. Scales : 1.1. 150 ; l.tr. 23-30. 

Length. — Up to 2000 mm. 

Colour. — Greenish leaden above, silvery white below, sometimes 
with darker cross-bars on back. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution. — W. and E. Atlantic, Mediterranean. 

This species was recorded from the Cape by Bleeker, but apparently 
has not been met with since. It is possible that Bleeker was mistaken 
as to the identity ; he gives no details. 

Sphyraena acutipinnis, Day. 
Pointed-finned Barracuda. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. Ind., p. 342, pi. Ixxix, fig. 1. 

1909. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. vi, pt. 3, 
p, 256 [africana). 

1918. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 2, p. 77. 

1923. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 10, pi. iii, fig. 2 
{natalensis). 

Depth 7f , length of head 3, in length of body. Eye 5|-6 in length 
of head. Operculum with a single fleshy point. Lower jaw with a 
conical tubercle in front. Maxilla extending not quite as far as 
vertical from anterior margin of eye. D V+I 9, A I 8. First dorsal 
arising above the extremity of pectoral and slightly in advance of 
ventral, which arises behind end of pectoral, about midway between 
end of lower jaw and base of caudal fin. Interspace between the 2 
dorsals equal to half length of head. Scales : 1.1. 115-125 ; l.tr. 28-32. 
(Plate XII, fig. 3.) 



314 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Length. — Up to 500 mm. 

Colour. — Dark grey above, light below, a festooned dark band along 
tbe lateral line ; fins dusky. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indian seas. 

Type of S. africana in South African Museum ; of natalensis in 
coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

I have examined the type of africana, which does not differ in any 
essential point from Day's species. 

Sphraena jello C. and V. 
Barracitda. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 101 (references). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 318 (references). 

Depth 8-9, length of head 3|-4, in length of body. Eye 5-61 
in length of head. Operculum with 2 points. Lower jaw with a 
fleshy tubercle. Maxilla reaching to vertical from anterior margin or 
anterior third of eye. DV+I9, AI8-9. First dorsal arising above 
posterior third of pectoral, above or slightly behind root of ventral, 
which is much nearer end of lower jaw than base of caudal. Inter- 
space between the 2 dorsals f length of head. Scales : 1.1. 120 ; l.tr. 
35-40. 

Length. — Up to 1500 mm. 

Colour. — Greenish above, silvery white below, with or without 
darker cross-bars on back ; fins yellowish. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indo-Malay seas. 

In all the South African specimens the end of the maxilla is bifid, 
a character which separates it from all the other species found in these 
waters. 

*Sphyraena commersoni C. and V. 

Black-finned Barracuda. 

1829. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. iii, p. 352. 

1903. Jenkins, Bull. U.S. Fish. Com., vol. xxii (1902), p. 438 
{snodgrassi). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 318 (references, except Gilchrist and Thompson, 1909). 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 315 

Depth 7^-9, length of head 3|-4, in length of body. Eye 5-7| in 
length of head. Operculum with 2 points. Lower jaw with a fleshy 
tubercle. Maxilla reaching to anterior edge or anterior third of eye, 
DV+I9, AI9. First dorsal arising over posterior quarter or 
extremity of pectoral, and above the root of ventral, which is much 
nearer end of lower jaw than base of caudal. Interspace between 
the 2 dorsals about f length of head. Scales : 1.1. (80-90) 90-95 ; 
l.tr. 27. 

Length. — Up to 1500 mm. 

Colour. — Greenish or bluish above, silvery beneath ; dorsal, caudal, 
and anal fins black, with white tips. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indo-Malay seas. 

The inclusion of this species in the South African fauna list rests 
on the record of Castelnau (1861). Apparently it has not been met 
with since (see following species). 

Weber and de Beaufort (1921, Zool. Med., vol. vi, pt. 1, p. 70) give 
reasons for considering the Indo-Pacific commersonii C. and V. as 
synonymous with the Atlantic picuda Bl. Schn. 



Sphyraena obtusata C. and V. 

1829. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. iii, p. 350. 

1860. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. ii, p. 339. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. Ind., p. 343, pi. Ixxi, fig. 5. 

1909. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. vi, pt. 3, 
p. 255 {commersoni non C. and V.). 

1921. Waite, Eec. S. Austr. Mus., vol. ii, pt. 1, p. 85, fig. 129. 

1923. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Kep., i, p. 10. 

Depth 6|-6f, length of head 3J-3|, in length of body. Eye 4-i-5i 
in length of head. Operculum with a single point. Lower jaw with a 
small fleshy knob. Maxilla reaching to below anterior nostril. 
D V+I 9, A I 9. First dorsal arising above last quarter or extremity 
of pectoral, and behind root of ventral, which is much nearer to end 
of lower jaw than to base of caudal. Interspace between the 2 
dorsals equal to half length of head. Scales : 1.1. 85-90 ; l.tr. 20 
(27 Day). 

Length. — Up to 330 mm. (South African Museum). 

Colour. — Greenish grey above, lighter below, the dark part forming 
a festooned edge below ; pectorals grey, the other fins yellowish. 



316 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Locality. — Natal coast, Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — -Indo-Malay seas, Australia. 

The specimeu recorded in 1909 by Gilchrist and Thompson as 
commersoni really belongs to this species, as is evident from the 
description. This species is common at Delagoa Bay. 



Fam. 4. Polynemidae. 
Thread-fifis. 

Body elongate or moderately so. Scales ctenoid or cycloid. 
Lateral line complete, continued on to tail. Mouth rather large, 
inferior protractile, cleft lateral, extending beyond eye. Maxilla 
excluded from margin of upper jaw. Teeth small, in both jaws and on 
the palate. Eyes more or less covered with adipose tissue. Pectoral 
inserted low down, fin divided into two parts, the lower part consisting 
of long filamentous rays, freely movable. Ventral fins more or less 
close behind pectorals, pelvic bones suspended from the post-clavicles. 
Pseudobranchiae present, but concealed or delicate. Gill-rakers 
slender. Branchiostegals 7. Air-bladder, if present, usually very 
large. Pyloric caeca varying in number. Muciferous canals on head 
well developed. 

Moderate sized fishes, carnivorous in habits, but not voracious like 
the Barracudas. They inhabit tropical seas and are frequently 
found in estuaries. The flesh is of excellent flavour, and isinglass 
is made from the air-bladders of certain of the larger species. 

The systematic position of this family is perhaps a little uncertain, 
as its members seem to show affinities to both the Mugillidae and the 
Sciaenidae. 

Gen. PoLYNEMUS Linn. 

1766. Linne, Syst. Nat., vol. i, p. 521. 

Villiform teeth in both jaws and on vomer, palatines and ectoptery- 
goids. Maxilla much widened behind. Edge of preoperculum 
denticulate. First dorsal with 1st spine very short, 3rd longest, 
2nd-5th spines usually winged. Soft dorsal and anal fins of equal 
size. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Six pectoral appendages ........ sextarius. 

2. Five pectoral appendages . . . . . . . . plebeiu-s. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 317 

Polynemus sextarius Bl. 
Six-rayed Thread-fin. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. Ind., p. 177, pi. xlii, fig. 6. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 317 (references). 

Depth 3-3i, length of head 3|-3f, in length of body. Eye 3-3| 

in length of head, about equal to interorbital width, longer than 

snout. Preoperculum, with the tooth immediately above the rounded 

angle stronger than the other denticulations. An inconspicuous 

spine on the shoulder at commencement of lateral line. D ¥111 + 1 

12-13, A III 12-13. Pectoral 14+6; upper rays branched, f-^ 

length of head, longest filament reaching to middle or end of ventral. 

5 
Scales : 1.1. 45-50 ; l.tr. — . Air-bladder small, simple. Pyloric 

caeca long and rather numerous. (Plate XII, fig. 4.) 

Length.- — Up to 200 mm. 

Colour. — Golden, 1st dorsal black tipped, other fins more or less 
suffused or dotted with black ; a black ovoid spot on the shoulder. 

Locality. — Natal coast, Delagoa Bay, Chinde, to 30 fathoms. 

Distribution.— ^eist coast of Africa, Indo-Malay seas. 

Polynemus plebeius Brouss. 
Striped Thread-fin. 

1782. Broussonet, Ichth. Desc. Icones, pi. viii. 

1860. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. ii, p. 327 {lineatus, 
taeniatus). 

1878-88. Day, Fish. Ind., p. 179. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 318 {taeniatus). 

Depth of body equal to length of head, 3f in length of body. Eye 

3f-4i in length of head, almost equal to interorbital width and longer 

than snout. Preoperculum finely denticulated. An inconspicuous 

spine on shoulder at commencement of lateral line. D VIII+I 13, 

A II 11-12. Pectoral 16-17 + 5, upper rays unbranched, | length of 

head, longest filament reaching almost to tip of ventral. Scales : 

7-8 . ' 

1.1. 60-65 ; l.tr. . Air-bladder elongate, simple. Pyloric caeca 

very numerous. 

Length. — Up to 350 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery or golden ; dark brown longitudinal stripes along 



318 Annals of the South African Museum. 

the sides ; distinct above, disappearing below ; fins more or less 
spotted with black. 

Locality. — East London, Natal coast, Delagoa Bay, Chinde. 

Distribution. — Indo-Malay seas to Australia. 



Division 12. ANACANTHINI. 

1903. Eegan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (7), vol. xi, p. 459. 

Air-bladder without an open duct (physoclystic). Pectoral arch 
suspended from skull. No mesocoracoid. Ventral fins below 
(thoracic) or in front of (jugular) the pectorals, pelvic girdle only 
loosely attached by ligament. All fins without spines (the 1st dorsal 
ray in some Macrurids is at least spiniform). One, two, or three 
dorsals. One or two anal fins. Caudal sometimes absent. Pseudo- 
branchiae rudimentary or absent. Lower pharyngeals separate. 
Teeth in both jaws, palate frequently toothless. Scales cycloid or 
ctenoid. 

This division contains the important family of the Codfishes. 
Another family, the Rat-tails {Coryphaenoididae), are also important, 
but not so much economically as on account of their abundance in 
the deeper waters of the oceans. The third, and small, family 
Muraenolepidae is found in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions, 
the nearest locality to South Africa being Kerguelen Island. 

Key to the South African families. 

1. Caudal fin distinct ......... Gadidae. 

2. Body tapering, without caudal fin. . . . . Coryphaenoididae. 

( = Macruridae. ) 

Fam. 1. Gadidae. 
Codfishes. 

Body elongate. Scales small, cycloid. Lateral line present. 
Mouth moderate or large, more or less protractile. Teeth various, 
usually absent from palatine, frequently also from vomer. Dorsal 
and anal fins long, each consisting of a single fin or divided into 2 or 
3 portions. Ventrals in front of pectorals, with 1-9 rays. Caudal 
fin well developed. Pseudobranchiae usually absent, occasionally 
rudimentary. Branchiostegals 6-8. Barbels on chin and snout 
sometimes present. 

The family of the Codfishes is economically one of the most im- 
portant families of fishes. Although in South Africa there is only 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 319 

one representative of any value as a food-fish, namely the Stockfish, 
in European and North American seas there are many. In addition 
to the Cod, which is the most important, the Haddock, Pollack, 
Whiting, Ling, Pout, Burbot, and others all belong to this family. 

There are also many species which are not food-fishes, the family 
being widely distributed, though mainly in the Northern Hemisphere. 
Many live at considerable depths. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. A single dorsal fin .... . ... Algoa. 

II. Two dorsal fins. 

A. Lower jaw longer than upper jaw .... Merlucciu-s. 

B. Lower jaw shorter than upper jaw. 

1. Snout projecting over mouth ..... Antimora. 

2. Snout not projecting. 

a. Three barbels ...... Gaidropsarus. 

b. Not more than 1 barbel (if any). 

i. Ventrals of 6-8 rays, all of nearly equal length Lepidion. 
ii. Ventrals of 1-3 elongate rays, with or without additional 
shorter rays. 
a. Longest ventral ray J length of body Bregmaceros. 
/S. Longest ventral ray shorter than J body length. 

* 1st dorsal 10-11 rayed . . Physiciilus. 

** 1st dorsal 5-6 rayed. 

t Vent below tip of pectoral fin Laemonema. 
ft Vent below middle of pectoral fin 

Laemonemodes. 

III. Three dorsal fins . . . , . . . Tripterophycis. 



Gen. Algoa Cast. 

1861. Castelnau, Mem. Poiss. I'Afr. Austr., p. 69. 

A single dorsal fin, well separated from caudal. Ventrals with 
several rays. Caudal forked. No barbel on chin. Teeth strong, in 
several series ; teeth on " palate." 

'^ Algoa viridis Cast. 

1861. Castelnau, loc. cit., p. 69. 

Body elongate. Lower jaw a little longer than upper. D 56, 
A 24. Rays of dorsal and anal projecting considerably beyond the 
intervening membrane. Lateral line forming a very pronounced 
angle above the pectoral. 

Length. — 100 mm. 



320 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Colour. — Greenish above, yellowisli below, fins black ; extremities 
of caudal greenish ; iris golden red. 

Locality. — Estuary of Zwartkops River, Algoa Bay. 

This fish has not since been recognised. The original description 
is very inadequate. 

Gen. Merluccius Raf. 

1810. Rafinesque, Caratt. Nuovi Gen., p. 26. 

Body elongate. Scales small. Snout long, depressed. Mouth 
large, lower jaw longer, maxilla extending to below eye. No barbels. 
Teeth slender, in jaws and on vomer, in two or three series ; none on 
palatine. Two dorsal fins well separated, 2nd long. Anal single, 
similar to 2nd dorsal. Posterior rays of 2nd dorsal and anal longer 
than middle ones. Ventrals well developed, of 7 rays. Branchio- 
stegals 7. Gill-rakers long. 

Merluccius capensis Cast. 
Stockfish ; Stok-visch ; Hake. 
1861. Castelnau, Mem. Poiss. I'Afr. Austr., p. 68. 
1906. Regan, Ann. Nat. Mus., vol. i, pt. 1, p. 4 (redescription). 
1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 106 (references). 

1916. Gilchrist, ihid., p. 14 (eggs). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 319. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 60 (distri- 
bution). 

Depth 5|-6| (young), length of head 3i (young) to ^h, in length of 
body. Eye 4|- (young) to b\ in length of head. Teeth in both jaws in 
2 series, rather strong, the inner row larger than the outer. Maxilla 
reaching to below posterior third of eye. Thirteen to fourteen gill- 
rakers on lower part of anterior arch. D 11+35-40, A 37-40. Ven- 
trals 7-rayed, about half length of head, reaching f to vent (longer 
proportionately in young). Caudal truncate. Scales : 1.1. 130-140 ; 

l.tr. - . (Plate XII, fig. 5.) 

Length.— V^ to 1000 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, dark greyish on back, inner side of pectoral and 
mouth blackish, pupil translucent, iris silvery. 

Locality.— 0& west coast as far north as Liideritzbucht, 100-300 
fathoms ; Agulhas Bank (False Bay, Mossel Bay, Knysna, Port 
EHzabeth), 40-100 fathoms ; Natal, 100-200 fathoms. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 321 

There seems still room for doubt as to whether the Cape Hake is 
really distinct from the northern Atlantic M. vulgaris. Regan states 
that it is " very distinct," but does not state the characters in which 
it is supposed to differ ; his description is practically the same as those 
given for vulgaris, except as regards the scales in the lateral line. 
But as I have myself counted from 130-140, the limits of variation 
may well extend to 150, the number given for vulgaris. 

Gilchrist is inclined to query the specific distinctness of capensis, 
but in the absence of abundant material of both forms, I accept 
Regan's pronouncement. 

The Stockfish is one of the most important edible fishes of South 
Africa. It is very abundant at times, but seems to be uncertain in 
appearance. Like the northern form, they probably migrate consider- 
able distances, both for purposes of spawning and also from one 
food-ground to another. According to Grilchrist their chief food 
seems to be various species of Rat-tail (Macrurids). 

Gen. Antimora Gnthr. 

1878. Gunther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 18. 

1887. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 93. 

Body elongate. Vent behind middle of body. Scales small. 
Snout conically pointed, depressed, sharply keeled at the sides, pro- 
jecting over the mouth. Mouth rather large, lower jaw shorter than 
upper, maxilla extending to below posterior part of eye. Chin with 
barbel. Teeth in bands in both jaws, a round median patch at 
junction of vomers, none on palatine. Two dorsal fins, the first 
portion of 4-5 rays scarcely separated from second portion ; 1st ray 
elongate. Anal single, but deeply notched. Caudal truncate. 
Ventral of 6 rays, the outermost two elongate. Branchiostegals 7. 
Gill-rakers short. Pyloric caeca numerous. 

A genus of deep-water Gadids, easily recognised by the pointed 
projecting snout, resembling that of the Macrurids. Found in N. 
and S. Atlantic, E. Pacific, and S. Indian Ocean, but apparently 
absent from the tropical Indian Ocean. 

Antimora australis Brnrd. 

(?) 1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., 
vii, p. 13 {viola non G. and B.). 

1925. Barnard, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), xv, p. 499. 

Depth 5|-6, length of head 3|-4J, in length of body. Length of 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 21 



322 Annals of the South African Museum. 

head mucli greater than half (1|— If times) in distance between bases 
of ventrals and anal. Caudal peduncle slender, its depth 2| in its 
length. Eye 3f-4 in length of head, subequal to interorbital width 
and slightly less than length of snout. Maxilla not extending quite 
to below posterior margin of eye. Barbel 2i in diameter of eye. 
Ten gill-rakers on lower part of anterior arch. D 4+50-54 (1st ray 
of 1st dorsal | length of head) ; A 38-40 ; V 6, 2nd ray twice as long 
as 1st, slightly longer than 1st dorsal ray, ca. t length of head. Scales : 
1.1. about 130 (but impossible to count accurately) ; l.tr. ca. 10 between 
dorsal fin and lateral line. Pyloric caeca 11-12. Vent nearer to 
operculum than to base of caudal fin. 

Length. — Up to 280 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Brownish, more or less violaceous, especially 
on the abdomen and gill-covers ; branchial chamber brownish black. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point, 475-900 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

This form does not seem to fit any of the described species of this 
genus. The combination of characters comprising the length of the 
1st dorsal ray, number of gill-rakers and pyloric caeca, and slender- 
ness of body, justifies its separation. The species are all very closely 
allied. The present one is perhaps nearest to the N.' Atlantic viola 
(G. and B.), the descriptions of which, however, as given by Goode 
and Bean, Giinther, Jordan, and Evermann, are not consistent. 

This is probably the form referred to by Gilchrist and von Bonde 
as viola (G. and B.). 

Gen. Gaidropsarus Raf. 

1810. Eafinesque, Indice d' Ithiol. Sicil. 

1829. Cuvier, Regne Anim., 2nd ed., vol. ii, p. 334 (Motella). 

Body elongate. Scales minute. Snout short, rounded. Mouth 
moderate, lower jaw shorter than upper, maxilla extending to or 
slightly beyond hind margin of eye. One barbel on chin and a pair 
on the snout. Teeth in bands in both jaws and on vomer, none on 
palatine, some of the inner teeth on lower jaw and outer teeth on 
upper jaw larger than the others. Two dorsal fins ; the anterior 
of a single long ray followed by a series of short fringe-like rays more 
or less concealed in a groove ; 2nd dorsal and anal long. Ventrals 
of 5-7 rays. Caudal rounded. Branchiostegals 7. Gill-rakers 
almost obsolete. 

A small, but widely distributed genus of small fishes from the 
shallow-water and littoral regions. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 323 

As their name implies, the European species are frequently to be 
found in rock-pools. Similar forms with 4 and 5 barbels are placed 
in other genera. 

Gaidropsarus capensis (Kaup). 
Cape Three-bearded Rockling. 

1858. Kaup, Wiegm. Arch., p. 90, pi. xiii, fig. 3. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 108 (references). 

Depth 6, length of head ih, in length of body. Eye 5 in length of 
head, slightly greater than interorbital width, and slightly less than 
length of snout. Maxilla extending very slightly beyond posterior 
margin of eye. Barbels equal to 1st ray of 1st dorsal, longer than 
snout, about 3| in length of head. First dorsal with about 55 fila- 
ments in the fringe behind 1st ray ; 2nd dorsal with 45 rays. A 40 ; 
P 18-20, rounded ; V 7, 2nd ray longest and reaching three-quarter 
way to vent. Scales : 1.1. (150 ?). 

Length. — Up to 160 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Brownish. 

Locality. — Kalk Bay and Algoa Bay, to 25 fathoms. 

This species has been considered to be identical with the European 
maculata, but seems to be distinguished by the 7 rays in the ventrals. 
I regret that I am able to give only an approximate number for the 
scale-count owing to all the specimens having lost nearly all their 
scales. Nor am I able to give the colour in life. 

Gen. Lepidion Swains. 

1838. Swainson, Nat. Hist. Classif. Anim., vol. i, p. 318. 

Body elongate. Scales small, cycloid. Snout short, bluntly 
conical. Mouth moderate ; lower jaw shorter than upper. Maxilla 
extending to below eye. One barbel on chin. Teeth slender, in 
bands in both jaws, a round median patch at the junction of the 
vomers, none on palatine. Two dorsal fins, narrowly separated ; 
1st dorsal short, its rays usually prolonged. Anal single. Posterior 
rays of 2nd dorsal and anal longest. Caudal rounded or subtruncate. 
Ventrals narrow, of 6-8 (ensiferus) rays. Branchiostegais 7. Gill- 
rakers slender. Pyloric caeca 10-15. 

Deep-sea species from the N. and S. Atlantic, Mediterranean, and 
Pacific. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Eye 3^ in head. First dorsal with 5 rays ..... ca^pensis. 

2. Eye 5 in head. First dorsal with 8 rays .... natalensis. 



324 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Lepidion capense, Gilch. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 61. 

Depth 4^-4|, length of head 4|-4|, in length of body. Length of 
head less than distance between root of ventral and vent. Eye 
subequal to snout, ll^-H times interorbital width, 3J-3| in length of 
head. Maxilla extending to below middle of eye. Barbel J-§ diameter 
of eye. Nine gill-rakers on low^er part of anterior arch. D 5+50-56, 
1st ray of 1st dorsal extending to middle of 2nd dorsal, IJ times length 
of head ; A 48-50. Pectoral about f length of head. Ventral 7- 
rayed, longest (2nd) ray about equal to length of pectoral. Scales : 
1.1. about 250 ; 19-20 between 1st dorsal and lateral line. Pyloric 
caeca 15. (Plate XIII, fig. 1.) 

Length. — Up to 430 mm. 

Colour.- — Grey, margins of dorsal and anal fins blackish, branchial 
and abdomen cavities black. 

Locality. — Off Table Bay, Cape Point, and East London, 250-630 
fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Contrary to the statement in the original description, I find there 
are constantly 7 rays in the ventral fins, the outermost 2 filamentous, 
the second one longer than the first. 

"^Lepidion natalensis Gilch. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 62. 

Depth 5f , length of head nearly 4, in length of body. Length of 
head equal to distance between root of ventral and vent. Eye 
greater than snout, 5 in length of head. Maxilla extending slightly 
beyond centre of eye. Barbel longer than diameter of eye. Gill- 
rakers (?). D 8 +58, 1st ray of 1st dorsal long, extending to last fourth 
of 2nd dorsal ; A 54. Pectoral shorter than ventrals, which reach 
vent and are about equal to length of head, rays 7. Scales : 1.1. about 
170 ; 15 between 1st dorsal and lateral line. Pyloric caeca (?). 

Length.— ?. 

Colour. — Bright pinkish grey, vertical fins black. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 324 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Gen. Bregmaceros Thomps. 

1840. Thompson, Charlesw. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. iv, p. 184. 
Body elongate. Scales moderate. Snout short, blunt. Mouth 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 325 

moderate, lower jaw not as long as upper, maxilla extending to below 
posterior portion of eye. Upper half of eye covered with a trans- 
parent membrane. No barbels. Teeth minute, in both jaws and 
on vomer, none on palatine. Two dorsal fins, 1st consisting of a 
single long ray on the occiput (above preoperculum), the 2nd dorsal 
and anal long, depressed in the middle forming 2 lobes. Dorsal 
and anal can be laid back in a scaly groove. Ventral elongate, with 
3 very elongate rays separated nearly to their bases, and 2-4 short 
branched rays ; received into shallow grooves on ventral surface 
of abdomen and along each side of anal. Caudal feeble, emarginate. 
Branchiostegals 7. Gill-rakers obsolete. Air-bladder large. Pyloric 
caeca 2. 

A genus of two species of small tropical pelagic fishes. A very 
similar form with the single ray of the 1st dorsal arising further back 
is called Auchenoceros Gnthr. 

Bregmaceros macclellandi Thomps. 

1889. Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. xxxi, p. 25, pi. iii, figs. A, B 

1913. Weber, Siboga Exp. Fische. Monogr., vol. Ixv, p. 174. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 319 (references). 

Depth 6J-7|, length of head 5|-6, in length of body. Eye 
subequal to interorbital width and to snout, 4 in length of head. 
Mucous pores on head well developed. D 1 +16 (or 18-20) X 15(-22) ; 
A 18(-22)x20(-22). Pectoral f length of head. Ventrals of 3 long 
rays and 3-4 short ones in the axil, the longest ray being about 
half total length. Scales : 1.1. 58-64 ; l.tr. 14. 

Length. — Up to 130 mm. 

Colour. — Brown above, more or less speckled with darker, silvery 
below ; vertical fins pale in the young, blackish in adult. 

Locality. — Agulhas Bank to Natal coast, 30-185 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Tropical Indo-Pacific, surface to 300 fathoms. 

This little fish is pelagic, living in the open sea, near the surface 
or in moderately deep water. It is probable that the bathymetrical 
range varies according to time of day or atmospheric conditions. 

Gen. Physiculus, Kaup. 

1858. Kaup, Wiegm. Arch., p. 88. 

1862. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iv, p. 350 [Pseudo- 
phycis). 



326 Annals of the South African Museum. 

1899. Garman, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harv., vol. xxiv, p. 182 
{Lejptojphycis). 

Body elongate. Vent well forward. Snout short, blunt, and 
rounded. Eye large. Mouth rather large, lower jaw shorter than 
upper, maxilla extending to below centre of eye. Barbel on chin 
usually present, sometimes absent {Leptophycis). Teeth minute, 
villiform, in a band on both jaws, none on the vomer or palatine. 
Two dorsal fins, almost contiguous, 1st arising above root of pectoral, 
2nd arising immediately behind 1st ; 2nd long. Anal single. Dorsal 
and anal fins covered with a loose scaleless membrane. Ventrals 
on very narrow and widely separated bases, of 7 rays, the outermost 
two elongate and filamentous. Caudal obtusely pointed. Branchio- 
stegals 7. Gill-rakers short, slender. Small glandular pseudo- 
branchiae in some species. 

A genus represented in most of the oceans, usually in deep water. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Snout shorter than diameter of eye ...... capensis. 

2. Snout longer than diameter of eye ..... natalensis. 

Physiculus capensis Gilch. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 62. 

Depth 4|-4f , length of head 4J-4|, in length of body. Eye nearly 
twice length of snout, 1^ times interorbital width, 3 in length of head. 
Barbel f diameter of eye, about 4 in length of head. Maxilla extend- 
ing to below posterior margin of pupil. Operculum ending in a short, 
more or less concealed spine. No pseudobranchiae. Gill-rakers 7 
on lower part of anterior arch. D (9) 10-11+50-60; longest ray 
(4th or 5th) in 1st dorsal § length of head. A 60-65. Pectoral f 
length of head, V 6-7 ; longest ray (2nd) | length of head, reaching to 
base (2nd-3rd ray) of anal. Scales : 1.1. 95-104 ; 7-8 between 1st 
dorsal and lateral line. A scaleless fossa a little distance in front of 
vent. 

Length. — Up to 170 mm. 

Colour. — Lemon-yellow ; abdomen violaceous, with a silvery sheen. 

Locality. — W. coast, off Table Bay, ofi Cape Point, 75-230 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Agulhas Bank, Algoa Bay, 25-50 fathoms, off East 
London, 310 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

I have examined a large number of specimens from 30 mm. upwards. 
The 1st dorsal has 10 or 11 rays of about equal frequency ; I have not 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 327 

seen a specimen with only 9. The ventral has usually 7 rays, but the 
reduction to 6 is not infrequent, and not correlated with the number 
of rays in 1st dorsal. 

As the localities show, this species is not confined so strictly to the 
Cape region as Gilchrist implies. The specimen from ofi East London 
is a young one (30 mm.), not differing in any respect from the adults. 

Often cast up on the Atlantic shore of the Cape Peninsula after 
storms. 

'^Physiculus natalensis Gilch. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., iii, p. 63. 

Depth 5, length of head 4, in length of body. Eye shorter than 
length of snout, i interorbital width, a little over 4| in length of head. 
Barbel about 6 in length of head. Maxilla extending to below middle 
of eye. Gill-rakers (?). D 8+62; rays of 1st dorsal somewhat 
produced, longest nearly 3 times diameter of eye. A 66. Ventrals (?). 
Scales : 1.1. about 100 ; 8 between 1st dorsal and lateral line. 

Length. — ?. 

Colour. — ?. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 183 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Gen. Laemonema Gnthr. 

1862. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iv, p. 356. 

1908. Holt and Byrne, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. i, p. 86. 

Body moderately elongate. Vent behind, or just opposite level of 
extremity of pectoral. Scales small. Snout blunt. Mouth rather 
large, lower jaw shorter than upper. Maxilla extending to below 
middle of eye. Chin with a barbel (normally). Teeth slender, in 
bands in both jaws, and on vomer (usually), none on palatine. Two 
dorsal fins, narrowly separated ; 1st dorsal short, 5-rayed. Anal 
single. Caudal rounded or bluntly pointed. Ventral reduced to 
" a single long ray bifid its end " or 3 rays. Branchiostegals 7. 
Gill-rakers long, slender, numerous. Pyloric caeca (?). 

As Giinther says, this genus scarcely merits separation from Phycis ; 
this is especially true since it was found that the Cape species possessed 
a three-rayed ventral. The difference in the number of rays in the 
1st dorsal {Phycis 8-10) alone remains to distinguish the two genera. 

Laemonema globiceps Gilch. 
1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 157, pi. xhii. 
1922. Id., Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 63. 



328 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Depth 5, length of head 4J-4?, in length of body. Eye subequal to 

snout, H-lf in interorbital width, 3^-4 in length of head. Maxilla 

extending to below posterior margin of pupil. Teeth in narrow bands ; 

none on vomer. Barbel absent. Twenty-six gill-rakers on longer 

part of anterior arch. D 5-|-ca. 70, 1st ray of 1st dorsal very long, 

Ij times length of head ; A ca. 66 ; V 3, the inner one very short and 

slender, the middle one reaching to base of anal. Scales : 1.1. ca. 90 ; 

ca. 20 larger, pore-bearing scales at equal distances apart forming the 

5 

actual lateral line ; l.tr. . 

16-18 

Length. — Up to 180 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Pale yellowish, more or less silvery, a 
brownish or purplish tinge on the abdominal region. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 345-800 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

The rather swollen globose head, the absence of barbel and vomerine 
teeth, and the large number of gill-rakers, serve to distinguish this 
species from the other species of both Laemonema and Phycis. 

Although I have examined several specimens I have been unable 
to find any pyloric caeca in any of them. 

Gen. Laemonemodes Gilch. 

1903. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. ii, p. 208. 

Body moderately elongate. Vent below middle of pectoral. 
Scales small. Snout moderately blunt. Mouth moderately large, 
lower jaw shorter than upper. Maxilla extending to middle of eye. 
Chin with a barbel. Teeth in bands in both jaws and on vomer, 
none on palatine. Two dorsal fins, narrowly separated ; 1st dorsal 
of 5 rays. Anal single. Caudal pointed. Ventral 8 rays, the 
outermost 2 very long and united for greater part of their length, 
the inner 6 very minute. Branchiostegals 7. Gill-rakers (?). Pyloric 
caeca (?^. 

This genus is monotypic, and is separated from Laemonema and 
allied genera by the character of the ventral fin. 

^Laemonemodes compressicauda Gilch. 

1903. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. ii, p. 208, pi. xvi. 
1922. Id., Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 64. 
Depth 5h, length of head 4, in length of body. Eye greater than 
interorbital space, which equals snout, 3 in length of head. Maxilla 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 329 

extending to below middle of eye. Barbel If in diameter of eye. 
D 5+46, 1st ray of 1st dorsal about If length of head; A 46. 
Pectoral f length of head. Outer rays of ventral (and longer than 
1st) reaching slightly beyond commencement of anal, about l^ 
times length of head. (Plate XIII, fig. 2.) 

Length. — ?. 

Colour. — Not stated. The specimen recorded in 1922 bears the 
serial number " 1692 " and under that number in the list of captures 
(Fish. Mar. Surv. Rep., vol. i (1921), p. 63) we find the record " small 
black fish." 

Locality. — Off East London and Natal coast, 300-420 fathoms. 

Type lost ?. 

Only two specimens of this species have hitherto been captured. 



Gren. Teipterophycis Blgr. 

1902. Boulenger, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (7), vol. ix, p. 335. 

Body elongate, tapering posteriorly, the vent far forward. Scales 
cycloid, small. Snout short. Eye large. Mouth rather small, 
lower jaw shorter than upper, maxilla reaching to middle of eye. 
One barbel on chin. Teeth in a single series in both jaws, close-set, 
chisel-shaped, none on vomer or palatine. Three dorsal fins, 1st 
small, 2nd short and rather high, behind level of vent, 3rd elongate 
and low, far back. Anal single, elongate, and of nearly even height 
throughout. Caudal small, obtusely pointed. Ventral reduced, of 
5 rays, the two outermost elongate and filamentous. Branchio- 
stegals 7. Gill-rakers long and slender. 

Tripterophycis gilchristi Blgr. 
Gilchrist's Triple-fin. 

1902. Boulenger, loc. cit., p. 335. 

1903. Id., loc. cit., p. 168, pi. xii. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 275, 
text-fig. 171. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 64. 

Depth 5f-6, length of head 6i, in length of body. Eye 1^ times 
as long as snout, 3 in length of head, IJ times interorbital width. 
Barbel small. D 4-5+12-14+36-38 ; A 103-110; P (15) 19, f length 
of head. Longest ventral ray (the 2nd) IJ times length of head. 



330 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Scales : 1.1. about 140 ; l.tr. 16-17, between origin of 2nd dorsal and 
lateral line whicli is distinct to base of caudal. A scaleless fossa 
immediately in front of vent. 

Length. — Up to 210 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, darker above, bead witb brown speckles, tbe 
abdominal region more or less violet ; gullet dark brown. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point, 150-250 fatboms. 

Distribution. — Off Sumatra, E. Indies, 150 fathoms. 

Type in British Museum ; topotypes in South African Museum. 

I find that the number of rays in the 2nd dorsal and pectoral as 
given by Brauer are the more normal ; on the other hand, the 2nd 
ray, not the outermost as stated by Brauer, of the ventral fin is 
always the longest. 



Fam. 2. Coryphaknoididae. 
Rat-tails. 

1916. Gilbert and Hubbs, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. li, p. 135 (key 
to genera and list of known species). 

1920. Id., U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull., No. 100, vol. i, pt. 7, p. 369. 

Body elongate, tapering posteriorly. Scales usually ctenoid. 
Lateral line present. Mouth small, terminal or inferior, protractile. 
Teeth in bands in both jaws, sometimes also on vomer. A short 
anterior dorsal fin with one spiniform and several branched rays ; 
a long posterior dorsal confluent around the tail with the long anal. 
Ventrals below pectorals, with 7-12 rays. Caudal fin absent. Pseudo- 
branchiae, if present, usually glandular and reduced. Branchio- 
stegals 6-8. Usually a barbel on chin. Muciferous canals of the head 
well developed, bones of the skull very thin. 

This family used to be more generally known as Macrouridae or 
Macruridae, but since the name Macrourus has had to give place to 
the earlier Coryphaenoides, the name of the family must follow suit. 



Key to the South African genera. 

No fold of membrane on first gill-arch. Gill-rakers not tubercular. Second 
dorsal ray not spine-like. 

A. Two dorsal fins ...... subfam. Bathygadinae. 

1. Teeth present on vomer ..... Melanonus. 

2. No vomerine teeth ...... Bathygadus. 

B. One dorsal fin. Vomerine teeth . . subfam. Lyconinae, Lyconodes. 



A MonograpJi of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 331 

II. A fold of membrane on first gill-arch, restricting the 1st gill-slit. Gill-rakers 
tubercular. Second dorsal ray spine-like, often serrated. No vomerine 
teeth ...... subfam. Coryphaenoidinae. 

A. Branchiostegal rays 6. 

1. Dorsal spine serrate ..... Coryphaenoides. 

2. Dorsal spine smooth ..... Coelorhynchus. 

B. Branchiostegal rays 7. 

1. Maxillary teeth biserial, mandibular teeth uniserial. Pyloric caeca 

very numerous and branched .... Malacocephalus 

2. Maxillary teeth pluriserial, mandibular teeth pluriserial or in 

an irregular series. Pyloric caeca moderately numerous, not 
branched. 

a. Length of upper jaw less than 3 in length of head Ventrifossa. 

b. Length of upper jaw at least 3 (usually more) in length of head 

Lionurus. 

Subfam. Bathygadinae. 
Gen. Melanonus Gnthr. 

1878. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 19. 

1887. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 83. 

1902. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. ii, p. 106 {Melanonosoma). 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 277. 

Body elongate, posteriorly compressed. Tail tapering. Scales 
small. Mouth wide, terminal lower jaw not longer than upper, 
maxilla extending to below posterior margin of eye. No barbel. 
Teeth in narrow bands in both jaws and on vomer and palatine. 
Dorsal and anal in two divisions, the posterior division in both narrowly 
separated from the anterior portion and confluent with the caudal 
fin. Dorsal commencing at same level as pectoral and ventral. 
Ventral narrow, 5 (7)-rayed. Branchiostegals (5) 7. Pseudobranchiae 
absent Gill-rakers long and stout. Pyloric caeca 1. 

Although I have not seen a specimen, I have little doubt that 
Melanonosoma is congeneric with this genus. The apparent differ- 
ences seem to be in the verbal descriptions and not in the actual 
structure. 

The posterior divisions of the dorsal and anal are regarded by 
Giinther and Brauer as portions of the dorsal and anal confluent with 
a caudal ; Gilchrist regards the whole as caudal. Hence a separate 
genus and its inclusion in the Gadidae instead of the Macrouridae. 
Dissection would probably show that the former interpretation is the 
correct one. Brauer has shown that there is no real separation of 
the 5 (or 6) anterior rays of the dorsal from the rest of the fin. 

This genus really forms a transition between the Gadidae and the 



332 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Macrouridae. Authorities are not agreed as to which family it should 
be assigned ; e.g., Regan claims it as a Macrouroid, but Gilbert and 
Hubbs do not accept it as such. 

^Melanonus gracilis Gnthr. 

1878. Giinther, loc. cit., p. 19. 

1887. Id., loc. cit., p. 84, pi. xiv, fig. B. 

1902. Gilchrist, loc. cit., p. 106 {Melanonosoma acutecaudatum) . 

1906. Brauer, loc. cit., p. 277, pi. xii, fig. 5. 

1911. Zugmayer, Res. Camp. Sci. Monaco, fasc. 35, p. 120, 
pi. vi, fig. 1. 

Depth (5) 6^-7^, length of head (41) 5|-6f, in length of body. 
Eye 4-4-,V in length of head. D ca. 66-73+21, A ca. 49-54 + 21, C 8. 

5 
Scales : 1.1. ca. 110 (Zugmayer) ; l.tr. - (Giinther) : 2\ between dorsal 

14 

and lateral line ; Zugmayer gives — . 

Length. — Up to 152 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform dark brown or blackish. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 360 fathoms. 

Distribution.— ^2° 26' S., 95° 44' E. (S.W. of Australia), 1975 
fathoms (Challenger) ; Gulf of Guinea and 31° 21' S., 9° 45' E. (W. of 
Cape Town), 1000-1500 fathoms (Valdivia) ; 36° 54' E., 11° 49' W. 
(Zugmayer). 

Type of gracilis in British Museum ; of acutecaudatum lost ?. 

Taking into account the not too good condition of all the known 
specimens and the difiiculty of counting the fin rays (commented 
on by Brauer), there seems every likelihood that the " Challenger," 
" Valdivia," and " Pieter Faure " specimens all belong to the same 
species. 

Gen. BATHYaADUS Gnthr. 

1878. Gunther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 23. 

1887. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 154. 

1920. Gilbert and Hubbs, Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., No. 100, vol. i, 
pt. 7, p. 379 (key to species). 

(Syn. : Melanobranchus Regan, 1903, Gadomus Regan, 1903, Regania 
Jordan 1904.) 

Head short, more or less swollen and cavernous. Snout not pro- 
jecting. Mouth terminal, wide. Teeth villiform, in bands in both 
jaws, none on vomer or palatine. Barbel present or absent. The 
two dorsal fins almost contiguous, 1st ray very short and concealed, 



A Monograph of the Mar me Fishes of South Africa. 333 

2i)d more or less elongate. Pectoral and ventral also with the 2nd 
and the 1st rays respectively often elongate and filamentous. Anal 
rays less developed than those of 2nd dorsal. Scales cycloid. Gills 
4 ; a slit behind 4th gill-arch. Gill-lamellae very short. Gill-rakers 
long, slender. Pseudobranchiae, if present, covered with membrane. 
Branchiostegals 7. Pyloric caeca few or numerous (8-95). 

The rather numerous species of this genus are easily distinguished 
by the short and rather swollen head, with terminal mouth. Attempts 
have been made to split up the genus, but these divisions are accorded 
only subgeneric rank by Gilbert and Hubbs in 1920, with the exception 
of Gadomus Regan. Bathygadus is defined as having a very short 
barbel (or none at all) and moderate-sized teeth, whereas Gadomus 
has a long barbel and very minute teeth. 

The present species has a short barbel combined with minute teeth. 
Consequently, it would seem as if Gadomus also must be reduced to the 
rank of a subgenus, even if it can be maintained at that. 

Key to the South African species. 
1 Barbel present .......... fumosus. 

2. Barbel absent. 

a. No filamentous rays in fins ..... melanobranchus. 

b. Filamentous rays in dorsal, pectoral and ventral fins . . capensis. 

Bathygadus fumosus Brnrd. 

1925. Barnard, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), xv, p. 500. 

Depth 6|-6f, length of head 5|— 6i, in length of body. Orbit 
(not the actual eye) equal to snout and to interorbital width, 4|^-4| 
in length of head. Maxilla extending beyond level of hind margin 
of orbit by about i diameter of orbit. Teeth minute (not separable 
without a lens). Barbel small but distinct, i-|- diameter of eye. 
Gill-rakers 27-28 on lower part of anterior arch. D 11 -fx,* 2nd ray 
twice as long as head ; P 16-17, 2nd ray 2i times length of head ; 
V 8, 1st ray twice length of head. Scales : 6 between dorsal and 
lateral line. Shoulder-girdle scaly beneath the membraneous flap 
of the operculum. Pyloric caeca 18-20. (Plate XIII, fig. 3.) 

Length. — Up to 460 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Greyish, silvery on the head and abdominal 
regions, mouth and branchial cavity blackish brown. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 480-810 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

* This letter indicates a larger number of rays, which often cannot be counted 
even approximately owing to the frequent mutilation of the end of the tail. 



334 Annals of the South African Museum. 

The name is a MSS. name given by Boulenger to whom a specimen 
was sent bv Gilchrist. 

As remarked above, this species combines the short barbel of Bathy- 
gadus with the minute teeth of Gadomus. It has the orbit equal to 
the interorbital width and thus belongs to the Melanobranchus group, 
being closely allied to micronema Gilb. It also shows aflBinities to 
Gadomus multifilis (Gnthr.) and introniger G. and H., but is distinct 
from all in the number of gill-rakers and pyloric caeca and associated 
characters. 

^Bathygadus melanobranchus Vaill. 

1888. Vaillant, Exp. Trav. Talism., p. 206, pi. xviii, figs. 1, le. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 424. 

1896. CoUett, Res. Sci. Camp. Monaco, vol. x, p. 88. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep.,vii, p. 12. 

Depth 7, length of head 5, in length of body. Eye equal to snout, 
slightly greater than interorbital width, 2>\ in length of head. Maxilla 
extending to or slightly beyond level of centre of eye. Teeth minute. 
No barbel. Gill-rakers (?). D (9) 10-12 -fa;, V 8. No filamentous 
rays in any of the fins. Scales : l.tr. ca. 24. Pyloric caeca 26. 

Length. — Up to 440 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery-grey, mouth and branchial cavity black. 

Locality. — Off Table Bay and Natal coast, 514-1400 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Middle Atlantic, 400-750 fathoms. 

According to Gilbert and Hubbs (1920, Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., (100), 
vol. i, pt. 7, p. 388) the Indian and E. Indian species furvescens 
Alck. is not synonymous with the Atlantic species. The Cape and 
Natal specimens, therefore, should be critically examined. 

*Bathygadus capensis G. and v. B. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., 
vii, p. 13, pi. iii, fig. 2. 

Depth equal to length of head, 7 in length of body. Eye IJ in 
snout, 5 in length of head, Ih in interorbital width. Maxilla extending 
to level beyond hind margin of eye. Teeth minute on jaws, vomer, 
and palatine ; those on vomer slightly larger. No barbel. Gill- 
rakers (?). D 11 +x, P 13, V 8. Dorsal, pectoral, and ventral each 
with a filamentous prolonged ray, that on dorsal equal to those 
on pectoral and ventral, 2J times length of head. Scales : l.tr. ca. 26. 
Pyloric caeca (?). 

Length. — 340 mm. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 335 

Colour. — Presumably greyish or brownish. 

Locality. — Off Table Bay, 418 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

This species is inadequately described for purposes of comparison 
with the numerous other species of the genus. It appears to be 
allied to the E. Indian filamentosus (Smth. and Radc.) and the Japanese 
antrodes J. and G. 

The presence of teeth on the palate seems to be unique. 

Subfam. Lyconinae. 
Gen. Lyconodes Gilch. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 59. 

Head short. Snout not projecting. Mouth terminal. Maxilla 
extend beyond level of hind margin of eye. Teeth unequal in size, 
widely spaced canines in lower jaw, but no anterior ones in upper 
jaw. Vomerine teeth (?). Barbel absent. A single dorsal fin, with 
somewhat elongate anterior rays. Pectoral much longer than 
ventral, neither with filamentous rays. The ventrals (according to 
the figure) are abdominal in position, distinctly behind the base of 
pectoral. Anal nearly as well developed as dorsal. Scales (?). 
Gills 4. Gill-membranes united. Gill-lamellae and gill-rakers (?). 
Pseudobranchiae present. Branchiostegals (?). Pyloric caeca (?). 

This genus is a close ally of Lyconus Gnthr., though separated by 
the abdominal position of the ventral fins. The other characters 
mentioned by Gilchrist are perhaps not to be relied upon, in view of the 
small number of specimens of both genera which have been captured 
up to the present. For example, Brauer notes the absence of scales 
and canine teeth in his specimens, the largest of which was only 
41 mm. as against 124 mm. in Giinther's type specimen. 

Gilchrist follows Glinther in accepting the family Lyconidae for 
these two genera. Gilbert and Hubbs admit them as a subfamily 
Lyconinae, of the Coryphaenoididae. 

Lyconus pinnatus Gnthr. is recorded from the S. Atlantic and 
Indian Oceans. 

*Lyconodes argenteus Gilch. 

1922. Gilchrist, loc. cit., p. 59, pi. x, fig. 1. 

Depth 5, length of head 5|, in length of body. Eye 2, snout 2f , 
in length of head (reference to the figure seems to indicate that these 
two measurements have been transposed in the description). Teeth, 
about a dozen of different sizes in upper jaw, but without anterior 



336 Annals of the South African Museum. 

canines, small with 4 large posterior canines in lower jaw. D ca. 110 ; 
A ca. 94 ; P 15, reaching beyond origin of anal ; V 9, reaching origin 
of anal. Scales absent. 

Length. — 45 mm. 

Colour. — Dark, lighter below, with a silvery sheen. 

Locality. — Off Table Bay, 500 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Subfam. Coryphaenoidinae. 
Gen. CoRYPHAENOiDES Gunner. 

1765. Gunner, Trondhj. Selo. Skr., vol. iii, p. 50. 

1786. Bloch, Naturg. Aust. Fische., vol. ii, p. 152 (Macrourus). 

1916. Gilbert and Hubbs, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. li, p. 163. 

1920. Id., Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., No. 100, vol. i, pt. 7, p. 409. 

Head moderately long, without strong ridges. Scales ctenoid, 
moderate sized, with spinules and keels. Snout variable but not 
very prominent. Mouth either nearly terminal (subgen. Chalinura) 
or inferior. Teeth in a villiform band in upper jaw, sometimes with 
the outer series more or less enlarged, either in a single row (subgen. 
Chalinura) or a band in lower jaw. Barbel present. Two dorsal 
fins, 2nd ray of 1st spine-like, serrated. Anal better developed than 
2nd dorsal. A fold of membrane attached to 1st gill-arch. Gill- 
rakers tubercular. Pseudobranchiae absent. Branchiostegals 6. 
Pyloric caeca not numerous. Vent immediately before anal (except 
in C. hyostomus Smth. and Rad. and heyningeni Weber). 

This is the largest genus of the family and is widely distributed. 
Only two species, however, have yet been found within our limits. 

Gilbert and Hubbs {loc. cit., 1920, p. 162, footnote 1) consider that 
Nematonurus (teeth in upper jaw biserial, uni- or bi-serial in lower jaw) 
should become a subgenus of Coryphaenoides. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Each scale with a single strong keel bearing spinules, flanked with 1-4 rows of 

very small spinules ....... carinatus. 

2. Each scale fluted with 12-14 equal-sized rows of spinules . . striatura 

Coryphaenoides carinatus Gnthr. 
1878. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 28. 
1887. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 137, pi. xxxiii, fig. A. 
Depth 6| (or 7), length of head 4| (or 5), in length of body (end of 



PLATE XIII. 

FIG. TEXT-PAGE 

1. Lepidion capense Gilch. (original) ....... 324 

2. Laemonemodes compressicauda Gilch. (after Gilchrist) .... 328 

3. Bathygadus fumosus n. sj). (original) ....... 333 

4. Corypliaenoidefi striatura n. sp. (original) ...... 337 

4a. „ „ scale enlarged 

5. Coelorhynchus braueri n. s]i. (original). ...... 342 

6. Lionurus leonis n. sp. (original) ........ 349 



Ann. S. Afr. Mus., Vo). XXI. 



Plate XIII. 




,-^-*^ 







6 



V 



Xcill i- Co., Ltd. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 337 

tail mutilated). Eye * a little longer than snout, nearly twice inter- 
orbital width, a little over 3 in length of head. Snout short, obtusely 
conical. Under side of head (including rami of lower jaw) scaly. 
Maxilla extending nearly to below middle of eye. Teeth in a band 
in upper jaw, the outer series slightly enlarged, 3-4 series in the front 
part of lower jaw, decreasing to a single series posteriorly. Barbel 
half diameter of eye. Gill-rakers 9. D 2, 9-10 -\-x, 2nd dorsal ray 
about half length of head, closely and rather feebly serrulate in its 
distal half ; A ca. 110 ; P 19-21, half, or a little more, length of head ; 
V 8, outermost ray very shortly produced, 2|-2f in length of head. 
Scales : a very strong spinule-bearing keel in the centre of each scale, 
flanked by 1-4 sub-parallel rows of very small spinules ; 5 scales 
between 1st dorsal and lateral line. Distance from vent to isthmus not 
quite equal to length of head. No scaleless fossa. Pyloric caeca 13. 

Length. — Up to 700 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Light brown. 

Locality. — -Off Cape Point (probably). 

Distribution. — Prince Edward Island (Southern Indian Ocean), 
310 fathoms. 

The single specimen taken by the " Pieter Faure " seems to be 
only the second specimen known of this species. It is considerably 
larger than the type but agrees almost exactly with Giinther's descrip- 
tion. There are 9 dorsal rays instead of 10, and 19 pectoral rays 
instead of 21. Unfortunately the exact locality and depth of this 
specimen seem to have been lost. 

Subgen. Chalinuea Gr. and B. 
Coryvhaenoides [Chalinura) striatura Brnrd. 

1925. Barnard, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), xv, p. 500. 

Depth about equal to length of head, 5^-6 in length of body. Eye 
1J-1| in interorbital, l^-lj in snout, 5-5J in length of head. Snout 
short, obtusely conical. Under side of head (including rami of lower 
jaw) scaly. Maxilla extending to below hind margin of eye. Teeth 
in a band in upper jaw, outer series enlarged, considerably larger than 
the (6-8) inner series, in a single moderately enlarged series in lower 
jaw. Barbel subequal to eye. Gill-rakers 10-11. D 2, 9-1- a;, 2nd 
ray lf-14 length of head, closely serrate in its entire length ; A ca. 

* In the following descriptions of Macruroids, owing to the considerable difference 
in size between the actual eye-ball and the orbit, " ej^e " is taken to mean the 
distance between the orbital margins, unless the contrary is specially stated. 
VOL. XXI. PART 1. 22 



338 Annals of the South African Museum. 

110 ; P 19-21, equal to postorbital length of head ; V 12, outermost 
ray filiform, twice as long as any of the other rays, | length of head. 
Scales : 12-14 sub-parallel or slightly diverging rows of small spinules 
on each scale ; 6 between 1st dorsal and lateral line. Distance from 
vent to isthmus equal to length of head. No scaleless fossa. Pyloric 
caeca 9-11. (Plate XIII, figs. 4, 4a.) 

Length. — Up to 510 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Brownish, fins and gill-membranes blackish. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 450-950 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

This species seems close to leptolepis Gnthr. (Brazilian coast), but 
differs in the larger eye, more numerous flutings on scales, presence 
of scales on lower side of head, and greater number of ventral rays. 
This last feature seems to differentiate it from all other species of the 
genus. {Striatura, the fluting on a column.) 

Gen. CoELORHYNCHUS Giorna. 

1803. Giorna, Mem. E. Ac. Torino., vol. xvi, p. 178. 

1916. Gilbert and Hubbs, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. li, p. 169. 

1920. Id., Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., No. 100, vol. i, pt. 7, p. 424 (key 
to subgenera and known species). 

Head moderately or rather long, with definite ridges covered with 
modified scales, the suborbital ridge being the most prominent. 
Scales ctenoid, moderate, or rather large, with spinules or keels. 
Snout prominent, but variable, sometimes comparatively short, 
sometimes very long. Mouth inferior, moderately wide. Teeth in 
villiform bands in both jaws, occasionally biserial, or nearly so, in 
one or both jaws. Barbel present. Maxilla extending to below 
middle or hind margin of eye. Two dorsal fins, 2nd ray of 1st spine- 
like, smooth. Anal better developed than 2nd dorsal. A fold of 
membrane attached to 1st gill-arch. Gill-rakers tubercular. Pseudo- 
branchiae absent. Branchiostegals 6. Pyloric caeca moderately 
numerous. 

A genus of numerous species, about half of which are found in the 
Indo-Pacific Ocean. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Teeth in lower jaw in 2 (often irregular) series. Scales on head-ridges little 
strengthened. Spinules on scales arranged in quincunx. Subopercl© 
without flap ..... subgen. Quincuncia, argentatus. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 339 



II. Teeth in bands. Scales on heacl-ridges more or less strongly armed. Sub- 
opercle with acute flap. 

A. Spinules on scales on parallel or subparallel ridges subgen. Paramacrurus. 

1. Eye longer than snout ...... fasciatus. 

2. Snout longer than eye d^Miculatus. 

B. Spinules on scales on divergent ridges 

subgen. Oxymacrurus, flabellispinis. 

C. Spinules on scales on a very strong median ridge, flanked with smaller 

ones in parallel rows subgen. Oxygadus. 

1. Eye greater than interorbital width .... braueri. 

2. Eye equal to interorbital width .... acanthiger. 



Subgen. Quincuncia G. and H. 
Coeloriiynchus argentatus S. and R. 

1912. Smith and Radclifie, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xliii, p. 137, 
pi. xxxi, fig. 1. 

1913. Weber, Siboga Exp. Monogr., 65, Fish, p. 160, pi. i, figs. 4, 4a 
(acus). 

1920. Gilbert and Hubbs, Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., No. 100, vol. i, 
pt. 7, p. 433. 

Depth 6^, length of head 4, in length of body. Snout acutely 







abed 

EiG. 18. — Diagrams representing the types of scale found in four subgenera 
of Coelorhynchus : a, Quincuncia argentatus ; b, Paramacrurus fasciatus ; 
c, Oxymacrurus flabeUispinis ; d, Oxygadus braueri. 

produced, dorsal profile straight, slightly concave laterally behind 
apex, then straight, 2f in length of head. Eye subequal to interorbital 
width, 1^ in length of snout, 3| in length of head. Lower surface of 
head quite scaleless. Barbel f diameter of eye. Gill-rakers 5. 
Maxilla extending to below middle of eye. Teeth in lower jaw 
irregularly biserial. Suboperculum without a flap. D 2, 9 +x, 2nd 
ray slender (tip broken) ; P 14, half length of head ; V 7, J length 
of head, not reaching vent. Scales : spinules slender, arranged in 
quincunx ; ? 6 rows between 1st dorsal and lateral line. Distance 
from vent to isthmus IJ times in length of head. A very narrow 



340 Annals of the South African Museum. 

scaleless fossa extending from vent to midway between base of ventral 
and isthmus, expanded at both ends. Pyloric caeca 11. 

Length. — Up to 100 mm. 

Colour (as preserved).— Brownish, sides of head and body and 
especially the abdominal region bright silver, the scaleless mid-ventral 
line black. 

Locality. — Off Nanquas Peak (east of Algoa Bay), 47 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Philippine Islands, 100-300 fathoms. 

It is with some hesitation that I refer a small specimen 100 mm. 
long to this species, which reaches 365 mm. in length. It agrees, 
however, very closely with the descriptions except that the maxilla 
only reaches as far as below middle of eye, not to below the hind 
margin as described by Gilbert and Hubbs and figured by Smith and 
Radclifie. In other respects there seems to be no essential point of 
disagreement. The barbel is slightly longer and the under side of the 
head is completely scaleless. 



Subgen. Paramacrurus Blkr. 

Coelorhynchus fasciatus (Gnthr.). 

Banded Rat-tail. 

1878. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. ii, p. 24. 

1887. Id., Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 129, pi. xxviii, fig. A. 

1904. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 135 (egg). 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 259. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 105. 

Depth 5^-6, length of head 5, in length of body. Snout short and 
blunt, shorter than long diameter of eye which is 2| in length of head 
and almost twice the interorbital width. Head entirely scaleless on 
under side, the ridges not very prominent. Barbel 2|— 3 in long 
diameter of eye. Gill-rakers 6. Teeth in villiform bands. Sub- 
operculum with flap on lower angle. Maxilla extending to below 
middle of eye. D 2, 10 +a;, 2nd ray equal to or slightly longer than 
length of head without snout ; A 80-90 ; P 15-17, |-f length of 
head ; V 7, outermost ray filamentous, as long as pectoral. Scales : 
12-18 subparallel rows of spinules on each scale ; 4 scales between 1st 
dorsal and lateral line. Distance from vent to isthmus equal to length 
of head without snout. No scaleless fossa. Pyloric caeca 18-20. 

Length. — Up to 500 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish brown, more or less silvery, usually with a series 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 341 

of dark blotches forming irregular cross-bands, pupil translucent, iris 
greyisb-silvery. 

Locality. — Off west coast. Cape Point, and south, slope of Agulhas 
Bank, 89-250 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Subantarctic, west and east sides of the extremity of 
South America. 

The South African specimens agree with the descriptions of Giinther 
and Brauer, except that they differ constantly in the greater number of 
rows of spinules on the scales. The typical number is 8-10 (fewer on 
young specimens). 

^'Coelorhynchus denticulatus Regan. 

1921. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. vii, p. 415. 

1925. Fowler, Ann. Nat. Mus., vol. ii, p. 198, fig. 3 {natalensis). 

Head as long as distance from isthmus to vent. Under side of head 
scaleless. Snout acutely pointed, edges slightly convex, Ih times 
diameter of eye which is 4 in length of head and less than interorbital 
width. Barbel nearly equal to eye. Teeth (?). Maxilla extending 
to below posterior \ of eye. D 11 +x ; P half length of head ; V 7, 
as long as eye. Scales : 8-10 parallel series of spinules on each scale, 
4 between 1st dorsal and lateral line. 

Length. — Up to 270 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 130 fathoms. 

Type in British Museum. 

Subgen. Oxymacrurus Blkr. 
^Coelorhynchus flabellispinis (Ale). 

1894. Alcock, J. Asiat. Soc. Beng., vol. Ixiii, pt. 2, pp. 123, 126. 

1895. Id., Illustr. Zool. Investigator Fishes, pi. xvi, figs. 2, 2a. 
1899. Id., Cat. Ind. Deep-sea Fish, p. 107. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 258. 

Snout acutely pointed, I- length of head, If times diameter of eye 
which is 4^ in length of head. Head scaly on under side. Barbel about 
half diameter of eye. Suboperculum with a pointed flap. Maxilla 
extending almost to below hind margin of eye. D 2, 8+x, 2nd ray 
about ^ length of head ; A 77-95 ; P 16, half length of head ; V 7, 
outermost ray filamentous and equal to pectoral. Scales : 7-9 
radiating series of spinules on each scale ; 4-41- between 1st dorsal 
and lateral line. Pyloric caeca about 40 (Alcock), 22 (Brauer). 

Length. — Up to 475 mm. 



342 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Colour.- — Greyish, fins and gill-membranes black. 

Locality. — Simon's Bay, 35 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Indian Ocean, 300-700 fathoms. 

The inclusion of this species in the fauna list rests on a single 
specimen taken in Simon's Bay by the "' Valdivia " and identified by 
Brauer with Alcock's species. 

Gilbert and Hubbs (1920), p. 497, are inclined to doubt Brauer's 
identification ; and the record of this species must therefore remain 
somewhat uncertain. 

Subgen. Oxygadus G. and H. 

Coelorhynchus {Oxygadus) braueri Brnrd. 

Shovel-nose Rat-tail. 

1904. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 137 (egg, as Macrurus 
parallelus non Gnthr.). 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 257 
(parallelus non Gnthr.). 

1925. Barnard, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), xv, p. 501. 

Depth 7-8, length of head 3|-4, in length of body. Depth of body 
usually half length of head, or a little more. Snout conically produced, 
depressed, dorsal profile concave, margins nearly straight, slightly 
concave before the sharply pointed apex, length 2^ in length of head. 
Distance between isthmus and symphysis of lower jaw a little shorter 
than distance between point of snout and margin of upper jaw. 
Interorbital width § (long) diameter of eye, which is 1^ in snout and 
3^ in length of head. Lower surface of head scaly. Barbel |^ diameter 
of eye. Gill-rakers 6 (7). Teeth in villiform bands. Suboperculum 
with a narrow acutely pointed flap. D 2, 8-hx, 2nd ray slender, 
apically filiform, IJ in length of head. Interdorsal space 1|— 2 times 
length of 1st dorsal. A ca. 100 ; P 18, almost equal to length of snout ; 
V 7, about as long as pectoral. Scales : 5-9 subparallel rows of 
spinules on each scale, the middle row on a strong keel, scales on 
ridges on head with the spinules more or less stellate in arrangement, 
the median row becoming predominant posteriorly ; 5 between 1st 
dorsal and lateral line. Distance from vent to isthmus about equal 
to distance from anterior margin of eye to hind margin of operculum. 
A narrow longitudinal scaleless fossa from vent half-way to base of 
ventrals. Pyloric caeca 8-9. (Plate XIII, fig. 5.) 

Length. — Up to 400 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Brownish ; gill-membranes and fins dusky ; 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 34:3 

2nd dorsal ray, outermost ray of ventral, and upper 2-3 rays of 
pectoral light. 

Locality. — West coast, ofi Saldanha Bay and Table Bay, off Cape 
Point and East London, 250-450 fathoms. 

Distribution.— S.W. coast of Africa (25° 25' S., 6° 12' E.), 500 
fathoms (" Valdivia "). The distribution is probably continuous 
between this locality and the localities off Saldanha Bay. 

Type in South African Museum. 

The reasons for considering this a new species are as follows : It 
agrees in the number of rows of spinules on the scales with the form 
recorded by Brauer from the south-west coast of Africa ; and also 
with the form from the Kermadecs named kermadecus by Jordan and 
Gilbert, 1904. It differs from Giinther's description of parallelus in 
the eye being greater than interorbital width, and the number of 
pyloric caeca and pectoral rays. On the other hand, it agrees with the 
measurements of Japanese and Philippine specimens of parallelus 
given by Gilbert and Hubbs as regards the eye and interorbital 
width, but not the interdorsal space. 

In view of this conflict and the constancy of the characters given 
above for the South African specimens, and the fact that as Gilbert 
and Hubbs remark several species have been confused under the 
name parallelus, it seems better to introduce a new name for the form 
hitherto recorded in the South African fauna list as parallelus. 1 
associate it with the name of Brauer, who first gave a brief description 
of specimens caught just outside our area. 

Coelorhynchus acanthiger Brnrd. 

1925. Barnard, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), xv, p. 502. 

Depth 7, length of head 3^, in length of body. Snout conically 
produced, not depressed, its dorsal profile straight not concave, 
margins gently convex right up to the acute apex, length nearly 
2h in length of head. Distance between isthmus and symphysis of 
lower jaw equal to distance from tip of snout to margin of upper jaw. 
Interorbital width equal to (slightly less in a small specimen) long 
diameter of eye, which is Ih in length of snout and 3i in length of 
head. Lower surface of head scaly. Barbel 3|^-4 in diameter of eye. 
Gill-rakers 6. Teeth in villiform bands. Suboperculum with a 
pointed (but not very narrow and acute) flap. D 2, 7-8 +x, 2nd ray 
slender, 2 in length of head (it seems to be complete). Interdorsal 
space twice (or a little less) length of base of 1st dorsal. A ca. 90 ; 
P 18, 3 in length of head ; V 7, outer ray equal to pectoral and reach- 



344: Annals of the South African Museum. 

ing to vent. Scales : 5 (in some, scales 6 or 7) subparallel rows of 
spinules on each side, the middle row on a strong keel, scales on the 
sub- and supra-orbital ridges with a strong median ridge bearing 
strong spinules, with or without a flanking ridge on either side ; 
5 between 1st dorsal and lateral line. Distance from vent to isthmus 
equal to distance from anterior margin of eye to hind margin of 
operculum. No scaleless fossa. Pyloric caeca 11. 

Length. — Up to 400 mm. 

Colour.- — Brown ; fins and gill-membranes blackish. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 460 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

This species is closely allied to spinifer G. and H., but distinguished 
by the shorter snout, greater interdorsal space, fewer dorsal rays, and 
more numerous rows of spinules on the scales. The ridges on tbe 
head appear to be as strongly spinose as in spinifer. 

Gen. Malacocephalus Gnthr. 

1862. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iv, p. 396. 

1916. Gilbert and Hubbs, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. li, p. 189 
(Key to species). 

1920. Id., Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., No. 100, vol. i, pt. 7, p. 541. 

Head moderately long. Scales minute, ctenoid, much deeper 
than long, extending over whole head. Snout bluntly conical, slightly 
projecting. Mouth inferior, wide. Length of upper jaw distinctly 
less than 3 in length of head. Teeth biserial in upper jaw, the outer 
row much stronger than the inner, uniserial in lower jaw, none on 
vomer or palatine. Barbel present. Maxilla extending to or beyond 
hind margin of eye. Two dorsal fins, 2nd ray of 1st dorsal spine-like, 
not serrated. Anal fin better developed than 2nd dorsal. A fold of 
membrane attached to 1st gill-arch, restricting 1st gill-slit. Gill- 
rakers tubercular. Pseudobranchiae absent. Branchiostegals 7. 
Pyloric caeca very numerous and profusely branched. 

A small genus of four species from the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific 
Oceans. 

Malacocephalus laevis (Lowe). 
Small-scaled Rat-tail. 

1843. Lowe, Proc. Zool. Soc, p. 92. 

1887. Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 148, pi. xxxix, fig. B. 

1913. Weber, Siboga Exp. Monogr., vol. Ixv, p. 166. 

Depth 7, length of head 5f , in length of body. Eye equal to snout. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 345 

equal to or slightly less than interorbital width, 4 in length of head. 
Maxilla extending to below posterior margin of pupil. Barbel equal 
to diameter of eye. Gill-rakers 12 on whole of anterior arch. D 2, 
11 +x. 2nd ray If in length of head ; P 20, half length of head ; V 8, 
2f in length of head, reaching to about base of 4th anal ray. Scales : 
about 20 between dorsal and lateral line ; scales with from 9-20 
spinules according to position on body. Vent in an ovoid scaleless 
fossa midway between bases of ventrals and anal ; a transversely 
oval scaleless fossa between the bases of the ventrals. 

Length. — Up to 580 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Light brownish, abdominal region dusky. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point and East London, 250-450 fathoms. 

Distribution. — N. and S. Atlantic, Indo-Pacific Oceans, 200-650 
fathoms. 

It is not surprising that a species with such a wide range should be 
found also in the deep waters ofi the South African coast. The identity 
of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean specimens is attested by both 
Alcock and Brauer. 

It is therefore all the more remarkable that the specimens (I have 
only seen two) from South Africa, while agreeing in general with the 
descriptions of laevis, show one or two points of disagreement. Thus 
both specimens have 20 pectoral rays, the innermost ones very short 
but quite distinct. That it is the eye (as distinct from the orbit) 
which is reckoned in the above description may explain the slight 
differences from other descriptions where perhaps the two are not 
distinguished (c/. Giinther's figure of the head). 

When more specimens are procured it may be possible to separate 
the South African form as a species or subspecies. 

Gen. Ventrifossa G. and H. 

1920. Gilbert and Hubbs, Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., No. 100, vol. i, 
pt. 7, p. 543. 

The characters of this genus are the same as those of Lionurus 
except that the upper jaw is considerably longer, distinctly less than 
3 times in length of head ; the ventro-lateral extension of the gill-slits 
is continued forwards to below posterior margin of orbit. 

Gilbert and Hubbs speak of the mouth as subt^rminal, but it seems 
to be no more " terminal " than in certain species of Lionurus, and 
I omit this character as differentiating the two genera. 

The joint authors record eleven species in this genus, forming in 
their opinion a very natural group. 



346 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Ventrifossa divergens G. and H. 

1920. Gilbert and Hubbs, loc. cit., p. 549, text-fig. 37. 

Depth about 7, length of head about 6, in length of body. Snout 
equal to interorbital width ; 1^ in diameter of eye, which is about 
3 in length of head. Snout bluntly conical, scaly below. Barbel 
equal to eye. Teeth in villiform bands, 3-4 series in both jaws, outer 
row in upper jaw enlarged. Length of upper jaw 2 J in length of head. 
Gill-rakers 12. D 2, 11 +a;, 2nd ray at least f length of head (tip 
broken off), closely serrulate, serrations more or less obsolete basally ; 
A ca. 120 ; P 22-24, f length of head ; V 9, inserted below base of 
pectoral, 1st ray shortly filamentous, equal to postorbital length of 
head. Scales : about 10 rows of spinules on each scale, arranged in 
quincunx ; 7-8 between 1st dorsal and lateral line, 7 between 2nd 
dorsal and lateral line. Posteriorly to the abdominal region the 
scales appear to be all cycloid, as likewise are those on the shoulder 
girdle. No enlarged spineless scales behind 1st dorsal. Vent nearer 
to bases of ventrals than to origin of anal fin, preceded by, and im- 
perfectly separated from a small round scaleless fossa lying between 
bases of ventrals. Pyloric caeca numerous, ca. 80-90. 

Length. — Up to 200 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Brownish ; gill-membranes and abdominal 
region dusky, violaceous ; fins, light ; axil of pectoral dark. 

Locality. — Off East London, 300-400 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Borneo, East Indies, 305 fathoms. 

The two specimens in the South African Museum appear to be this 
species which reaches a length of 302 mm. Gilbert and Hubbs do 
not mention a band of cycloid scales on the shoulder girdle in 
divergens, though they mention it in 1916 {loc. cit., p. 193) ior garmani 
J. and G. The cycloid scales on the posterior region of the body 
in the present specimens may be due to immaturity ; the specimens, 
however, have lost the scales from the greater part of the body, 
only small scattered patches still remaining. Affinity to the smooth 
scaled species of Lionurus (subgen. Lionurus) is perhaps indicated. 

Gen. LioxuRUS Gnthr. 

1887. Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. xxii, p. 124. 
1916. Gilbert and Hubbs, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. li, p. 192. 
1920. Id., Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., No. 100, vol. i, pt. 7, p. 553. 
Head moderately long. Scales small or moderately small, ctenoid 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 347 

as a rule (cycloid in the subgenus Lionurus), extending over the head. 
Snout bluntly conical, more or less projecting. Mouth inferior, 
moderately wide. Length of upper jaw 3 or considerably more than 
3 in length of head. Teeth in bands in both jaws, often in an irregular 
series in lower jaw, outer row in upper jaw frequently enlarged. 
Barbel present. Maxilla extending to, but not beyond, level of centre 
of eye. Two dorsal fins, 2nd ray of 1st spine-like, serrated. Anal 
better developed than 2nd dorsal. A fold of membrane attached 
to 1st gill-arch. Gill-rakers tubercular. Pseudobranchiae absent. 
Branchiostegals 7. Pyloric caeca in moderate numbers, unbranched. 
A genus of rather numerous species, mostly with ctenoid scales 
(subgen. Nezumia), a few like the type species with cycloid scales 
{Lionurus sens. str.). Widely distributed, but chiefly in the Indo- 
Pacific. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Ventrals arising in front of base of pectoral. 

a. Ventrals arising below middle of operculum. D 2, 11-12. V 11-13 

pumiliceps. 

b. Ventrals arising below hind margin of operculum. D 2, 10-11. V 13-15 

nigromamlatus. 

2. Ventrals arising behind or immediately below base of pectoral. 

a. Snout scaly below ........ leonis. 

b. Snout scaleless below ....... brevibarbatus. 



* Lionurus pumiliceps (Ale). 

1894. Alcock, J. Asiat. Soc. Beng., vol. Ixiii, pt. 2, p. 125. 

1895. Id., Illustr. Zool. Investigator Fishes, pi. xvi, fig. 3. 
1899. Id., Cat. Ind. Deep-sea Fish, p. 113. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 262. 

1920. Gilbert and Hubbs, Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., No. 100, vol. i, 
pt. 7, p. 559. 

Body very abruptly narrowed from, behind 1st dorsal ray and base 
of anal. Depth equal to length of head, a little less than 8 in length 
of body. Eye 3 (or a little over) in length of head, subequal to snout. 
Upper jaw a little over 3 in length of head. Barbel f length of eye. 
Gill-rakers 8. D 2, 11-12 +a;, 2nd ray as long as head, not strongly 
serrate ; P 18 (Alcock), 20-23 (Gilbert and Hubbs), as long as head 
without snout ; V 11-13, the outermost ray as long as pectoral, 
inserted far forward below the middle of operculum. Scales : from 
3-8 (usually 6) rows of spinules on each scale ; 8-9 between 1st dorsal 
and lateral line. Vent between bases of ventral fins, before level of 



348 Annals of the South African Museum. 

origin of 1st dorsal, and closely followed by anal fin. Pyloric caeca 
9-10 (Alcock), 24-40 (Brauer). 

Length.- — Up to 275 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish or brownisli. 

Locality.— AguYhas Bank, 35° 10' S., 23° 2' E., 250 fathoms 
(" Valdivia "). 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific, 400-900 fathoms. 



Lionurus nigromaculatus (McC). 
Black-spotted Rat-tail. 

1907. McCulloch, Eec. Austr. Mus., vol. vi, pt. 5, p. 346, pi. Ixiii, 
figs. 1, la. 

Body very abruptly narrowed from behind 1st dorsal ray and base 
of anal. Depth (at 1st dorsal spine) 6h, length of head 7j, in length 
of body. Orbit 2|, eye 3, in length of head, greater than snout 
which is 4-4|^ in length of head, interorbital width f diameter of eye. 
Upper jaw 3^-3^^ in length of head. Snout blunt, lower surface scaly. 
Barbel §-f diameter of eye. Gill-rakers 8-9. D 2, 10-11 -fa;, 2nd 
dorsal ray a little longer than depth of body, with about 22 serra- 
tions ; P 20-22, I length of head ; V 13-15, outermost ray shorter 
than pectoral, inserted just in advance of base of pectoral and below 
hind margin of operculum. Scales : 8-9 rows of spinules on each 
scale ; 15-16 between 1st dorsal and lateral line. Vent midway 
between base of anal and bases of ventrals, between which there is 
a small round scaleless fossa. Pyloric caeca 40-50. 

Length. — Up to 227 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish, hind portion of head and abdominal region 
dusky, violaceous ; ventrals dark. McCulloch describes a dark blotch 
on the 1st dorsal, but there are only obscure indications of it in some of 
the South African specimens. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point and East London, 150-300 fathoms. 

Distribution . — South-East Australia, 800 fathoms. 

The South African specimens agree exactly with McCulloch's 
description. He does not, however, give the number of pyloric caeca. 
The largest South African specimen measures 200 mm. 

This species closely resembles pumiliceps in the shape of the body, 
being very abruptly narrowed behind the 1st dorsal and base of anal ; 
the ventrals, however, do not arise so far forward, and their rays are 
more numerous. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 349 

Liomirus leonis Brnrd. 

1925. Barnard, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), xv, p. 503. 

Body not very abruptly narrowed behind 1st dorsal and base 
of anal. Depth about 7, length of head about 6, in length of body 
(tip of tail lost). Depth li in length of head. Bye (not orbit) 
subequal to snout and to interorbital width, 3|- in length of head. 
Snout blunt, lower surface scaly. Length of upper jaw 3^ in length 
of head. Barbel f diameter of eye. Mandibular teeth in a band 
slightly broader than the band in upper jaw, the outer teeth of which 
are slightly enlarged. Gill-rakers 8. D 2, 8+x, 2nd ray |- length of 
head, with 16-18 serrations ; P 22-24, f length of head ; V 9, | 
length of head, inserted at level of 1st dorsal spine and behind base of 
pectoral. Scales : 6 rows of spinules on each scale ; 12 between 
1st dorsal and lateral line. Vent between bases of ventrals, with a 
small round scaleless fossa in front. Pyloric caeca 14-16. (Plate 
XIII, fig. 6.) 

Length. — Up to (about) 300 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Brownish, gill-membranes dusky. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point, 90-345 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum.. 

Lionurus brevibarbatus Brnrd. 

1925. Barnard, Aun. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), xv, p. 503. 

Body not abruptly narrowed behind 1st dorsal and base of anal. 
Depth about 6, length of head about 5, in length of body. Eye sub- 
equal to snout. One and a half times interorbital width, 3h in length 
of head. Snout bluntly conical. The apical tubercle of snout fairly 
prominent, lateral tubercles not prominent ; lower surface scaleless. 
Length of upper jaw 3|^ in length of head. Barbel 2h in eye. Teeth 
in villiform bands, the outer row in upper jaw enlarged. Gill-rakers 9. 
D 2, 11 +x, 2nd ray |- length of head, with numerous serrations ; P 16, 
a little more than half length of head ; V 1 1 , 2|: in length of head, reach- 
ing to base of anal, inserted immediately beneath bases of pectoral 
rays and in advance of 1st dorsal spine. Scales : about 10 rows of 
spinules on each side ; 6-7 between base of 1st dorsal and lateral line. 
Vent midway between bases of anal and ventrals. No (separate) 
scaleless fossa. Pyloric caeca ca. 30. 

Length. — Up to 260 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, violaceous over the abdomen ; gill-membranes 
blackish ; fins dusky. 



350 A7inals of the South African Museum. 

Locality. — Oft' Cape Point, 300-950 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

This species is very close to brevirostris Alck., but differs in the larger 
eye relatively to the snout, the absence of scales on the under side of 
snout, the shorter barbel, fewer pectoral rays, and shorter 2nd dorsal 
ray. 

It appears to be a common species at considerable depths in the 
vicinity of Cape Point. 

Division 13. ALLOTRIOGNATHI. 

Air-bladder without an open duct (physoclystic) or absent. No 
mesocoracoid. Pectoral arch suspended from skull. Pelvic bones 
embraced by or articulated to the coracoids. Maxilla free, protractile. 
A single dorsal. Ventral fins without spines, often with numerous 
rays. Caudal well developed or degenerate. Scales minute or 
absent. Teeth small or absent. Pseudobranchiae present or absent. 

Fishes of very different aspect are grouped together in this division. 
They have in common, besides the characters mentioned above, the 
very oblique cleft of the mouth which is more or less protractile. 

Key to the South African families. 

1. Body deep, not elongate. Lower pharyngeals toothed. Ventrals 15-17-rayed 

Lamprididae. 

2. Body very elongate, ribbon-shaped. Lower pharyngeals toothless. Ventrals 

never more than 9-rayed, sometimes reduced or even obsolete. 

a. No anal fin. Vent in middle of very elongate body . Trachypteridae. 

b. Anal very short. Vent far back ..... Lophotidae. 

Fam. 1. Lamprididae. 

Body deep, not elongate. Scales minute, deciduous, cycloid. 
Mouth bordered by premaxilla and to a certain extent by the maxilla 
also, oblique. Skeleton well ossified. Post-temporal forked. Verte- 
brae numerous. Ribs strong. Dorsal and anal fins long, without 
spines, the anterior rays long. Pectorals folding downwards. Ventrals 
15-17-rayed. Lower pharyngeals toothed. No teeth in mouth. 
Pseudobranchiae absent. Air-bladder large. 

A single genus. 

Gen. Lampris Retz. 

1799. Retzius in Nya Handlung, vol. iii, p. 91. 
With the characters of the family. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 351 

Lampris luna (Gmel.). 
Moon-fish ; Opah ; King-fish. 

1788. Gmelin, Syst. Nat., p. 1225. 

1860. Giintlier, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. ii, p. 416 (references). 

1892. Smitt, Skand. Fish., vol. i, p. 123, fig. 34 {pelagicus). 

1904. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S.A., vol. iii, p. 4, pi. xxii {im- 
maculata). 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 84. 

Depth of body about half length, but proportions varying according 
to age. Eye a little more than 5 in length of head. D 53-55, 
A 36-40, V (14) 15-17. (Plate XIV, fig. 1.) 

Length. — Up to 1800 mm. 

Colour. — Steely or ultramarine blue above, lighter below, with 
silvery and rosy sheen, with or without white spots over body ; fins 
brilliant red. 

Locality. — Table Bay, False Bay. 

Distribution. — N. Atlantic, Mediterranean, N. Pacific, Hawaii 
Islands. 

Type of immaculata in South African Museum. 

This very distinctive fish is not unfrequently found in the warmer 
parts of the N. Atlantic, especially around Madeira. It is, however, 
a deep-water fish. 

Only two specimens are known from South African waters : one 
cast up in Table Bay in April 1887 (no longer in South African 
Museum), the other cast up in False Bay in August 1902. The latter 
is the type of immaculata and, together with a cast, is in the South 
African Museum. 

As both the specimens found in South Africa had no traces of the 
usual spots, Gilchrist created a separate species. But as some of the 
European records mention the absence of spots, it would seem that 
this character is not of specific importance. Likewise, it seems prob- 
able that the other characters, relied upon by Gilchrist, are generic 
rather than specific. The anterior elevation of the anal fin is shown 
in a picture of a spotted specimen from Honolulu (Jordan, Guide 
Study Fish, vol. i, p. 323, 1905). 

I fail to find in the dried skin any of the mucous pores on the head 
mentioned by Gilchrist. 

The flesh of this fish is red in colour and regarded as a great delicacy, 
being tender, oily, and of exquisite flavour. 



352 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Fam. 2. Trachypteeidae. 
Deal-fishes and Oar-fishes. 

Body elongate, ribbon-shaped. Scales absent. Mouth very 
protractile with a few feeble teeth. Skeleton feebly ossified. Post- 
temporal simple. Ribs small and slender, or absent. Dorsal fin 
extending from head to end of tail, anterior rays prolonged. Anal 
absent. Caudal present or absent. Ventral fins with never more 
than 7-9 rays, often reduced or obsolete. LoT\^er pharyngeals tooth- 
less. Vent about in middle of body. Pseudobranchiae present. 
Air-bladder absent. 

Two genera, both of which occur in South Africa. 

Key to the genera. 

Ventral fin ^^^th 6-9 rays. Caudal present .... Trachypterus. 

Ventral reduced to a single elongate ray. Caudal absent . . Regalecus. 

Gen. Trachypterus Gouan. 

1770. Gouan, Hist. Poiss., pp. 104, 153. 

1892. Smitt, Skand. Fish., pt. 1, pp. 310, 314. 

Ventral fins well developed, consisting of 6-9 rays. Caudal fin 
present, divided into a larger portion projecting upwards and a smaller 
lower portion. Lateral line spiny. 

Although comparatively little is known about the habits of these 
fishes, they appear to inhabit deep water and only after storms are 
seen in shallow water or cast on the beach. Owing to the fragility 
of both the skeleton and flesh, nearly all specimens are more or less 
damaged. Many species have been described from such mutilated 
specimens, but it is probable that only a few species should be recog- 
nised, the majority being synonymous. 

The younger stages have been studied in the Mediterranean, and a 
resume with figures will be found in Smitt's work {loc. cit.). 

The most remarkable feature of the young fish is the great elongation 
of the anterior rays of the dorsal and the rays of the ventral and caudal 
fins. The caudal fin in the early stages is symmetrical and only becomes 
bipartite later, when the elongate rays of the lower portion are broken 
ofi and the upper portion becomes turned upwards like a fan. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Greatest depth of body near the occiput ..... iris. 

2. Greatest depth in the middle of body ...... arcticus. 



PLATE XIV. 



1. Lampris Iv.na (Gmel.) (original) .... 

2. iJe(;a?ec«^ grZe-swe (Ascan.) (after Layard) 

3. Trachypterus arcticus (Brunn.) (original) 

4. Lophotea cepediamis Gioma (head, after Boulenger) 

5. Lophotopsis fisJd (Gnthr.) (head, after Gunther) . 
6 Monocentris japonicus (Hout) (after Cuv. and Val.) 



TEXT-PiGE 

351 
354 
353 
357 
357 
360 



Ann. S. Afr. Mus., VoJ. XXI. 



Plate XIV. 







.Ve!« £t Co., /,((/. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 353 

Trachypterus iris (Walb.)- 
Mediterranean Deal-fish. 

1788. Walbaum, Artedi, vol. iii, p. 617. 

1801. Bloch-Sclineider, Syst. Ichth., p. 480 {taenia). 

1861. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iii, p. 302. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 477, fig. 391. 

Greatest depth of body near the occiput, 5^-5| in length. D 162- 
168, the anterior 6 rays elevated, the others more or less rough and 
with a small spine at base of each ; V 7(-8). Caudal with 8 rays 
projecting upwards. Lateral line spiny. Lower margin of abdomen 
with small papillae and tubercles. 

Length. — Up to 550 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, with 3 blackish spots on the back ; fins rose-red. 

Locality. — Table Bay. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean. 

The only record of this species in South African waters is a specimen, 
550 mm. in length, washed up in Table Bay in 1883 and now preserved 
in the South African Museum. 

Trachypterus arcticus (Briinn.), 
North Atlantic Deal-fish. 

1788. Briinnich, Vid. Sels. Skr. Nya. Saml., vol. iii, p. 408, pi. B, 
figs. 1-3. 

1892. Smitt, Skand. Fish., pt. 1, p. 315, fig. 83. 

Greatest depth about in the middle of the body, 5^6 in length. 
D 162-172, the anterior 6 rays elevated, the others more or less 
rough and with a small spine at base of each ; V 6-9 (10). Caudal 
with 8 rays projecting upwards. Lateral line spiny. Lower margin 
of abdomen with small papillae and tubercles. (Plate XIV, fig. 3.) 

Length.— JJip to 2460 mm. (8 ft.). 

Colour. — Silvery, with 3 blackish spots on the back, the hindmost 
one often absent in large specimens, forehead and front of jaws also 
blackish, fins rose-red ; iris black ; pupil light, probably greenish or 
silvery in life. 

Locality. — Cape seas. 

Distribution.— 1^ . Atlantic. 

Of this species also there is only one record for South Africa. The 
specimen is in the South African Museum and is 560 mm. in length, 
but the exact place of capture is not recorded. 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 23 



354 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Gen. Eegalecus Brijnn. 

1788. Brunnicli, Vid. Sels. Skr. Nya. Saml., vol. iii, p. 414. 

1892. Smitt, Skand. Fish., pt. 1, p. 320. 

Ventral fins reduced to a single elongate ray. Caudal fin absent 
(except in young). Lateral line not spiny. 

Ttie life-history and early stages of the Oar-fish are even less known 
than those of the Deal-fishes. Smitt gives particulars of a small 
specimen, 360 mm. long, which had a caudal fin consisting of 7 rays, 
of which the lower ones were very elongate and delicate. In the adult 
the tail is always mutilated, and in the majority of cases the wound 
has healed in a characteristic S-shaped curve. 

Several " species " have been described from different parts of the 
world, but as these fishes appear to inhabit the deeper waters of the 
oceans, it is probable that there is only one widely distributed species. 

Some notes on the specimens which have come to the South African 
Museum are given below. Our knowledge of the structure is, how- 
ever, very incomplete ; the exact shape of the occipital crest, for 
instance, is not known with any certainty. Vayssiere (Bull. Mus. 
Paris, 1917, No. 1, p. 19) states that it is not divided into two. 

It is greatly to be desired, therefore, that any specimen which is 
captured ofi the coast or washed up should be immediately reported 
to the nearest museum or scientific institution, so that it may be 
examined promptly by a competent observer. 

The Oar-fish has been seen to swim with an undulating motion and 
probably is responsible for many of the tales of " sea-serpents." It 
derives its name from the two long ventral rays, and its other name 
from the supposed association with the shoals of herrings on the 
Norwegian coasts. 

Eegalecus glesne (Ascan.). 
Oar-fish or King -of-the- Herrings. 

1788. Ascanius, Vid. Sels. Skr. Nya. Saml., vol. iii, p. 421, 

1835. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat, Poiss., vol. x, p. 376 
{capensis). 

1868. Layard, Proc. Zool. Soc, 1868, p. 319, fig. (capevsis). 

1892. Smitt, Skand. Fish., pt. 1, p. 322, fig. 87. 

1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. iv, p. 153 (gladius) 
(references). 

Length of head ^8~^ ^^ total length, and less than greatest depth 
of body, which is Yt~T8 i^ length. Tail tapering to a fine point, but 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 355 

in most specimens with the point broken oS and ending in an oblique 
S-shaped curve. Tlie anterior 10-15 rays elongate, the 1st and some- 
times also the 6th or 7th rays much stouter and longer than the others, 
the webbing of the crest either continuous (?) or divided in bo two. 
P 13, longer than the length of its base. Five longitudinal rows of 
tubercles on the sides. (Plate XIV, fig. 2.) 

Length. — Up to about 16 ft. 

Colour.- — Silvery, with more or less distinct circular or ovate 
brownish spots, some of them ocellate, vertical wavy black stripes in 
anterior | of body, with a ventral series continuing half-way along 
body ; dorsal and ventral fins coral-red ; pectoral grey ; eye silvery, 
with black pupil. 

Locality.— Tahle Bay and Atlantic coast of Cape Peninsula, False 
Bay, Mossel Bay, Knysna. 

Distribution. — N. Atlantic, Mediterranean, Bermuda, Indian 
Ocean, Australia. 

The following is a list of records of this fish in Cape waters, with the 
dates of capture : — 



1. ca. 1834. 

2. ca. 1858. 

3. Sept. 1865. 

4. Feb. 1868. 

5. Feb. 1906. 

6. Feb, 1906. 

7. Jan. 1914. 

8. Jan. 1914. 

9. Nov. 1917. 
10. Apr. 1924. 



" Cape " 
" Cape " 
Simonsbay 
Table Bay 
Blaauwberg Beach 
Chapman's Bay 
Clifton-on-Sea 
Mossel Bay 
Sea Point 
Knysna . 



Cuvier and Valenciennes (capensis). 
Castelnau. 
. Giinther. 
Layard. 
South African Museum. 

reported to South African Museum. 

South African Museum, 
reported to South African Museum. 



Nos. 5, 6, and 9 are mounted in the South African Museum. 

No. 5 has the stout 1st dorsal spine 16 in. in length and followed 
by 4 (or probably 5) slender spines, all webbed nearly to the ends. 
The base of this portion of the crest is 1 in. in length. Then follows 
another strong spine followed by 4 or 5 slender ones about 12 in. 
long. Base of 2nd portion of crest 2 in. in length. Short dorsal 
spines ca. 250, there being 106 in a space of 67 in. (1678 mm.) {cf. 
Valenciennes and Smitt). 

No. 6 has the occipital crest too mutilated for comparison. There 
are ca. 200 dorsal rays, 124 in a space of 67 in. 

No. 9 is the most interesting specimen. It is 13 ft. 8 in. in length 
and has the tail tapering to a fine point (the other specimens have 



356 Annals of the South African Museum. 

artificial tails to correspond with this one). The 1st dorsal spine is 
very stout and is followed by 11 spines which gradually diminish in 
thickness. Short dorsal rays ca. 408, 153 in a space of 67 in. The last 
4 inches of the tail comprises 5 vertebrae with articulations for ca. 28 
spines, which are, however, very small or almost obsolete. In the 
tail region there are 4 interspinal processes in the length of each 
vertebra, irrespective of the length of the latter, and one above the 
junction of each pair ot vertebrae. 



Fam. 3. Lophotidae. 
Ribbon-fishes. 

Body elongate, ribbon shaped. Scales absent. Mouth feebly pro- 
tractile, with numerous but very small teeth. Skeleton moderately 
well ossified. Post-temporal simple. Ribs small and slender, or 
absent. Dorsal fin extending from head to end of tail, anterior rays 
prolonged. Anal very short. Caudal small, undivided. Ventral 
fins very small, with 4-5 rays, or absent. Lower pharyngeals tooth- 
less. Vent very far back. Pseudobranchiae present. Air-bladder 
present. 

Ribbon-fishes do not inhabit such great depths as the Trachypteridae 
apparently do ; their skeleton is more strongly ossified and their flesh 
of much firmer consistency. 

Nothing is known about the life-history of these rare fishes. 

Only two genera and two, or perhaps three, species are known. 

Key to the genera. 

1. Front profile of head nearly vertical, straight .... Lophotes, 

2. Front of head produced far forwards in advance of snout . Lophotopsis. 

Gen. Lophotes Giorna. 

1803. Giorna, Mem. Ac. Torino, vol. ix, p. 19. 

Front profile of the head truncate, rising nearly vertically from the 
snout, straight or sometimes sinuous. Length of head less than depth 
of body. Body not very elongate. Ventral and anal fins present ; 
the ventral fins not on lower profile of body, but below and behind 
bases of pectorals. 

A single widely distributed species. The Japanese species capellei 
is probably synonymous. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 357 

Lophotes cepedianus Giorna. 
Ribbon-fish. 

1803. Griorna, loc. cit., p. 19, pi. xi, fig. 1. 

1891. Trimen, Proc. Zool. Soc, p. 483. 

1900. Boulenger, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. i, p. 13, pi. iv. 

1907. Waite, Rec. Canterb. Mus., vol. i, pt. 1, p. 33 (fiskei non 
Giintlier). 

1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iv, p. 153 (references). 

Depth, of body 6i-6|, length of head 8, in length of body. D 230- 
245, the 1st ray very stout and elongate, the following 4-5 rays also 
somewhat produced ; A 18-19 ; P 14-15 ; V 5-6. (Plate XIV, fig. 4.) 

Length.— JJv to 1800 mm. (6 ft.). 

Colour. — Silvery, with more or less distinct brilliant silver spots, all 
the fins coral-red (pectoral fin, according to Trimen, silvery). 

Locality. — False Bay, Mossel Bay. 

Distribution. — Mediterranean, Madeira, New Zealand. 

The South African records for this fish are as follows : — 

1. June 1891. Muizenberg, False Bay ...... Trimen. 

2. Aug. 1899. Mossel Bay Boulenger. 

3. July 1915. Hermanns ..... South African Museum. 

LOPHOTOPSIS n. g. 

Front profile of head strongly produced forwards in advance of 
snout. Length of head (without projection) greater than depth of 
body. Body very elongate. Ventral fins absent. Anal fin probably 
also absent, but end of tail mutilated. 

Boulenger (1900, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. i, p. 13) considered that 
these characters were sufficient to justify a separate genus for this 
remarkable ribbon-fish. 

^Lophotopsis fisMi (Gnthr.). 
Fish's Ribhon-fish. 

1890. Gunther, Proc. Zool. Soc, p. 244, pis. xix, xx. 

1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iv, p. 153. 

Depth of body about 28, length of head (without projection) about 
17, in length of body. First dorsal ray stout and prolonged. (Plate 
XIV, fig. 5.) 

Length. — 1250 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery. 



358 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Locality. — Kalk Bay. 

Type in Britisli Museum. 

Only one specimen of this fish has been caught. It was found by 
fishermen in June 1889 and taken to the Rev. Fisk, by whom it was 
presented to the British Museum. 

Waite's record (1907, Rec. Canterb. Mus., vol. i, p. 33) from New 
Zealand applies to L. cepedianus, or perhaps to the Japanese form, 
if the latter is distinct, certainly not to L.fiskii. 

Division 14. BERYCOMORPHI. 

1911. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. vii, p. 1 (classification). 

Air-bladder without an open duct (physoclystic). No mesocoracoid. 
Orbitosphenoid present (except in the Xenoberyces). Maxilla not 
strongly protractile. A single dorsal. Ventral fins with usually 
more than 6 rays, the first of which may be spinous. Caudal fin forked. 
Teeth numerous, though small (except in Caulolepis). Pseudo- 
branchiae present. Branchiostegals 4 or 7-9. 

The living representatives of this group are entirely marine and 
nearly all inhabitants of deep water, only a few, e.g. Holocentrus and 
Monocentris, being found in shallow water. They were very abundant 
in Cretaceous times, and the living forms still show many primitive 
features. 

One of the characteristics of the group is the possession of a highly 
developed mucous-secreting apparatus, which may, perhaps, be cor- 
related with their deep-sea habits. 

The group is not very well represented in South African waters. 

Although Regan has separated the Xenoberyces, comprising two 
families, from the true Berycomorphs, I have here grouped them 
together. 

Key to the South African families . 

I. Palate toothed. Scales ctenoid [BerycomorpM). 

A. Ventral fins without spine, rays 7-8 .... Polymixiidae. 

B. Ventral fins with one spine. 

1. Scales large, bony, rigidly united . . . Monocentridae. 

2, Scales not bony or united. 

a. One supramasilla. Abdomen trenchant or with a median 

series of enlarged keeled scales . Trachichthyidae. 

b. Two supramaxillae. 

i. Dorsal spines 7 or fewer . . . Berycidae. 

ii. Dorsal spines more than 7 . . . Holocentridae. 

IT. Palate toothless. Scales cycloid (Xenoberyces). Ventral fins with 1 spine 

and 6--9 rays . . . . . . Melamphaidae. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 359 

Fam. 1. POLYMIXIIDAE. 

Dorsal and anal fins long or moderately long, with a few graduated 
spines and numerous rays. Caudal with 16 branclied rays. Veutrals 
without spine, 7-8 rayed. Villiform teeth in bands on jaws and 
palate. A pair of barbels on the chin. Two supramaxillae. Branchio- 
stegals 4. 

A single living genus. 

Gen. PoLYMixiA Lowe. 

1838. Lowe, Camb. Phil. Trans., vol. vi, p. 198. 
With the characters of the family. 

^Polymixia nohilis Lowe. 
Barbudo (Spanish). 

1838. Lowe, loc. cit., p. 198. 

1887. Gtinther, Challenger Eep., vol. xxii, p. 34, pi. i, fig. B. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 243, fig. 241. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 64. 

Depth of body 2f, length of head 3, in length of body. Snout 
blunt, upper jaw slightly projecting. Cleft of mouth nearly horizontal. 
Maxilla extending to or just beyond level of hind margin of eye, which 
is 2-5- in length of head. Operculum spineless. Scales completely 
covering body and head. D V 28-38, A III-IV 16-18. Lateral line 
48-54. Barbels f length of head. 

Length. — Up to 180 mm. 

Colour.- — Brownish violet, with golden tints on snout ; maxilla rose ; 
apices of anterior soft rays of dorsal dark. 

Locality. — Natal, 180-218 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Tropical and subtropical Atlantic and Indian 
Oceans, Japan. 

Fam. 2. Monocentridae. 

Dorsal and anal fins not long, spines of the dorsal separated from the 
soft rays, the single anal spine very feeble. Caudal with 17 branched 
rays. Ventrals with 1 very strong spine and 3 small rays. Villi- 
form teeth in bands in jaws and on palatine and sometimes also on 
vomer. A single supramaxilla. Scales large, bony, scute-like, and 
spinose, rigidly united to form a cuirass. Head with bony ridges 
bordering mucous channels. Branchiostegals 8. 



360 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Two genera. Cleidopus de Vis, with one species [gloria-maris) 
from Australia, lias a patch of vomerine teeth, a luminous organ on 
each side of the lower jaw, and a narrow suborbital bone. 



G-en. MoNOCENTRis Bl. Schn. 

1801. Bloch and Schneider, Syst. IchthyoL, p. 100. 
No vomerine teeth. No luminous organ on lower jaw. Suborbital 
broad. 

A single species. 

Monocentris japonicus (Hout.). 
Knight or Pine-cone Fish. 

1782. Houttyn, Act. Soc. Haarl., vol. xx, pt. 2, p. 329. 

1829. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. iv, p. 461, 
pi. xcvii. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 110 (references). 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 66. 

Depth If, length of head 2f, in length of body. Snout bluntly 
rounded, projecting beyond upper jaw. D VI +11, A I 9. Lateral 
line 15. (Plate XIV, fig. 6.) 

Length.— -JJ^ to 125 mm. 

Colour. — Grolden-brown, scales outlined with darker brown ; mouth 
blackish. 

Locality. — Mossel Bay to Natal and Delagoa Bay, 20-100 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Japan, East Indies, Andaman Sea, Mauritius. 

In Japan this fish is said to be common in clear waters with a rocky 
bottom. Most of the South African specimens have been caught in 
Mossel Bay. 

Fam. 3. Trachichthyidae. 
Slime-heads. 

Dorsal and anal spines few. Caudal with 17 branched rays. 
Ventrals with 1 spine and 6-7 rays. Villiform teeth in bands on 
jaws and on vomers (sometimes absent) and palatines. A single 
supramaxilla. Scales normal, ctenoid. Head with bony ridges 
bordering mucous channels. Abdomen with a median series of ridged 
or serrated scales, sometimes not well marked. Nasals very large, 
covering premaxillary processes. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 361 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Abdomen with scutes. 

a. Vomerine teeth present ..... . Gephyroberyx. 

b. Vomerine teeth absent ..... . Hoplostethus. 

2. Abdomen without scutes ..... . Trachichthodes. 



Gen. Gephyroberyx Blgr. 

1902. Boulenger, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (7), vol. ix, p. 203. 

Scales small, somewliat irregular, those of the lateral line enlarged. 
Abdomen with a median series of keeled scutes. Cleft of mouth very 
oblique. Opercle irregularly serrate. A strong spine on opercle, 
preopercle, and suprascapula. Vomerine teeth present. Dorsal with 
8 spines, increasing in length to the 4th, then decreasing, forming a 
notch between spinous and soft portions of fin. Ventrals with 6 soft 
rays. Three anal spines. 

*Gephyroberyx darwini (Lowe). 

1866. Johnson, Proc. Zool. Soc, p. 311, pi. xxxii. 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 188, fig. 207. 

1921. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. vii, p. 412. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., iii, p. 64. 

Depth 2i, length of head 2i-2f, in length of body. Eye 3^-4 
in length of head. D VIII 14, 4th spine longest, soft rays higher 
than spines, 3rd and 4th longest ; A III 12. Lateral line 27-30. 
Abdominal scutes 10-12. 

Length. — Up to 475 mm. 

Colour. — Head and fins reddish, body brownish red, sides grey, 
belly white, opercle dusky. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 148-158 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Madeira, Japan, Bay of Bengal, 300-400 fathoms. 

Gen. HoPLOSTETHUS C. and V. 

1829. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. iv, p. 469. 

Scales moderate, rough with little spinules, those of the lateral 
line larger. Abdomen with a median series of enlarged keeled scutes. 
Cleft of mouth very oblique. Opercle entire. A strong spine on the 
preopercle and on the suprascapula. Vomerine teeth absent. Ventral 
with 6 soft rays. Three anal spines. 



362 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Hoplostethus mediterraneum. C. and V. 

1829. Cuvier and Valenciennes, loc. cit., p. 469, pi. xcvii bis. 

1895. Goods and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 189, fig. 208. 

1899. Alcock, Cat. Ind. Deep-sea Fish., p. 34 ; Illustr. Zool. 
Investigator, pi. xiv, fig. 3. 

1911. Zugmayer, Res. Sci. Camp. Monaco, fasc. xxxv, p. 96, pi. v, 
fig. 4. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 64. 

Depth 21-21, length of head 2i-2f, in length of body. Eye 3 in 
length of head. D VI 12-15, A III 9-11. Lateral line : 28-31. 
Abdominal scutes, 11-13. 

Length. — Up to 280 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, with rosy sheen ; fins reddish. 

Locality. — Off Saldanha Bay, Cape Point, East London, and Natal 
coast, 165-450 fathoms. 

Distribution. ^Tio^ical and subtropical Atlantic, Indian Ocean, 
Japan, down to 400 fathoms. 

Gen. Trachichthodes Gilch. 

1903. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. ii, p. 203. 

Scales moderate, striate, and ctenoid, regularly arranged, those of the 
lateral line not enlarged, abdomen trenchant but without scutes. 
Cleft of mouth oblique. Opercle, preopercle, subopercle, and supra- 
scapula serrated. Vomerine teeth present. Ventrals with 7 soft 
rays. Four anal" spines. 

McCulloch (1913, Rec. Austr. Mus., vol. ix, pt. 3, p. 358) has made 
his genus Austroheryx synonymous with this genus. His remarks 
about the trenchant abdominal margin and the scales on the operculum 
are correct. But McCulloch takes as the type of his genus B. affinis 
Gnthr., a species which, according to Regan (loc. cit., p. 4, pi. i) has 
2 supramaxillae and should be placed in the genus Hoplopteryx in the 
Berycidae. On the other hand, B. gerrardi Gnthr. has only 1 supra- 
maxilla according to McCulloch (Res. Endeavour, pt. 1, p. 41, 1911). 

According to Regan's diagnoses, I have determined that Trachich- 
thodes spinosus is a Trachichthyid not a Berycid. B. gerrardi should 
be transferred to this genus, but the position of affinis remains doubtful. 
If Regan is correct, Austroheryx becomes a synonym of Hoplopteryx, 
or may be applied to the living form, leaving the latter genus for the 
Cretaceous species. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 363 

Roule (1924) makes Trachichthodes, Austroheryx, and Hoplopteryx 
(sensu Regan) all synonyms of Centroberyx Gill. 

Trachichthodes spinosus Gilch. 

1903. Gilchrist, loc. cit., p. 204, pi. xiii, fig. 1. 

Depth a little less than 2, length of head 2|-, in length of body. 
Eye 2|- in length of head. Short but well-marked spines on lower 
angles of opercle and preopercle. D VI 15, A IV 15, V I 7. 
Lateral line, ca. 41. (Plate XV, fig. 1.) 

Length. — 68 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). ^ — Grey ; probably red when alive. 

Locality. — Off Cape Morgan, 45 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

This fish is so close to T. lineatus (C. and V.) from New Holland 
that it seems scarcely worthy of specific rank. T. lineatus is a little 
less deep in the body and has 14 rays in both the soft dorsal and 
anal, and 45 scales ; it is a larger specimen (200 mm.). 

Fam. 4. Berycidae. 

Dorsal and anal spines few. Caudal with 17 branched rays. 
Ventrals with 1 spine and 7-13 rays. Villiform teeth in bands in 
jaws and on vomer and palatine. Two supra maxillae. Scales 
normal, ctenoid. Head with bony ridges bordering mucous channels. 
Nasals moderate, separated by premaxillary processes, but nearly 
meeting above them. Branchiostegals 7-9. 

Two living genera, Beryx and Hoplopteryx. The latter is an 
Australasian genus with 6-7 spines in the dorsal fin, which is longer 
than the anal, and with only 7 rays in the ventral. 

Gen. Beryx Cuv. 
1829. Cuvier, Regne Anim., vol. ii, p. 151. 

1924. Roule, Bull. Mus. d'Hist. Nat. Paris, No. 1, p. 68 [Actino- 
heryx). 

Dorsal fin with 4 spines and 13-19 rays. Anal with 3-4 spines, 
26-30 rays, much longer than dorsal. Ventrals with 1 spine and 10-13 
rays. Opercle and preopercle without spines. 

Beryx longipinnis Brnrd. 

1925. Barnard, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), xv, p. 504. 

Depth 2i, length of head 3^ in length of body. Eye 2|-2-i in 
length of head. Interorbital width § diameter of eye. A strong, 



364: Annals of the South African Museum. 

horizontally projecting, backwardly curved spine on preorbital, 
bearing on its anterior margin a smaller accessory spine. A short 
sharp spine at end of nasal and one at hinder end of lower jaw. Supra- 
orbital and interorbital ridges serrulate, each of the latter bearing a 
short stout spine above the anterior third of eye. Suprascapula, 
preopercle, and subopercle striate and serrate. Maxilla reaching to 
below posterior margin of pupil. D IV 18-19, 4th spine f length of 
head, 1st ray elongate, filamentous, at least f depth of body. A IV 27 ; 
V 1 10, elongate, first 3 or 4 rays extending to end of caudal, following 
rays becoming gradually shorter ; P 15, equal to length of head. 
Scales striate and denticulate, but usually with a smooth median 

10 
longitudinal groove: 1.1. 60-62; l.tr. — . (Plate XV, fig. 3.) 

^u 

Length. — Up to 360 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, with salmon or coral-red tinge which is deepest 
on back ; fins pale salmon. 

Locality. — Ofi Saldanha Bay and Natal coast, 200-300 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

This species is closely allied to B. sjplendens and decadactylus, both 
of which are found in the Atlantic and ofi Japan. It is, however, at 
once distinguished by the elongate dorsal and ventral fins and the 
structure of the scales. Eoule (Bull. Mus. d'Hist. Nat. Paris, 1924, 
No. 1, p. 68) has described a specimen similar in these respects except 
that the dorsal has no filamentous ray. He regards it as a mutation of 
B. decadactylus^ but nevertheless institutes a new genus and species, 
Actinoheryx jugeati. He did not apparently examine its sex, nor the 
sex of his normal examples of B. decadactylus. Possibly the long- 
rayed forms are males, in which case both jugeati and longipinnis will 
fall into the synonymy of decadactylus. Both the specimens I have 
examined are males. 

Fam. 5. Holocentridae. 
Soldier-fishes. 

A long spinous dorsal, soft portion shorter. Anal with 4 spines. 
Caudal with 17 branched rays. Ventrals with 1 spine and 5-8 rays. 
Cleft of mouth not very oblique or nearly horizontal. Villif orm teeth 
in bands on jaws, vomer, and palatine. Two supramaxillae. Scales 
normal, ctenoid. Mucous channels not strongly developed. Nasals 
moderate, separated by the premaxillary processes. Branchiostegals 
(7-)8. 



PLATE XV. 

riG. TEXT-PAGE 

1. TrachichtJiodes spinosus Gilch. (after Gilchrist) ..... 363 

2. Plectromus macrophthalmus Gilch. (after Gilchrist) .... 369 

3. Beryx lonyipinnis n. sp. (original) ....... 363 

4. Holocentrum rubrum (Forsk.) (after Day) ...... 366 



Ann, S. Afr. Mus., Vol. XXI. 



Plate XV, 




Seill ct Co., Ltd. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 365 

The soldier-fishes are a family of brightly coloured shallow-water 
fishes, especially numerous in tropical waters. 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Preopercle with a spine ....... Holocentrum. 

2. Preopercle without a spine ....... Myripristis. 

Gen. Holocentrum Scop. 

1777. Scopoli, Int. Hist. Nat., p. 449. 

Cleft of mouth nearly horizontal. A strong spine on the preopercle. 
Last dorsal spine longer than penultimate, slender and approximate 
to the soft rays. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Lower jaw very prominent (subgen. Flammeo) . . . sammara. 

2. Lower jaw not prominent. 

a. Scales striate. Lat. line ca. 47 ..... . diadema. 

b. Scales feebly striate. Lat. line ca. 36 . . . . . rubrum. 

"^Holocentrum sammara (Forsk.). 
Dark-striped Soldier-fish. 

1775. Forskal, Descr. Anim., p. 48. 

1905. Jordan and Evermann, Bull. U.S. Fish Comm., vol. xxiii, 
p. 155, fig. 56. 

1916. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 109 (references). 

Depth 3i-3|, length of head 2f-2|, in length of body. Eye 2|-3J 

in length of head, greater than snout. Interorbital 4-4J in length of 

head. Upper processes of premaxilla reaching far between eyes. 

Maxilla reaching to below anterior margin of pupil. Lower jaw 

projecting prominently. Preorbital with a strong tooth in front, 

evenly serrated behind. Opercle and subopercle feebly, supra- 

scapula distinctly striated. Two opercular spines. No spine at end 

of snout. Posterior nostril without denticles. D XI 11-12, 3rd spine 

3-4 

longest; A IV 7-8. Scales: 1.1.38-44; l.tr. . 

s ' '6-7 

Length. — Up to 275 mm. 

Colour. — Dark red or maroon ; sides silvery with about 10 more or 
less distinct dark stripes, spinous dorsal whitish with dark red blotch 
between 1st and 4th spines, soft dorsal reddish, caudal lobes dark red, 
pectoral pale red, anal pale yellowish, ventrals white. 



366 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Locality. — South Africa. 
Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 

This species apparently has never been taken in South Africa 
since Sir A. Smith presented a specimen to the British Museum. 

Holocentrum diadema Lac. 
Light-striped Soldier-fish. 

1802. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. iv, pp. 335, 372, 374, 
pi. xxxii, fig. 3. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 171. 

1905. Jordan and Evermann, Bull. U.S. Fish Comm., vol. xxiii, 
p. 159, pi. X. 

1909. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., vol. vi, pt. 3, p. 235. 

Depth 3-3|, length of head 3-31, jn length of body. Eye 2-2| in 
length of head, greater than snout. Interorbital 3f-4J in: length of 
head. Upper processes of premaxillae reaching to vertical from 
anterior border of eye. Maxilla reaching to below anterior third of 
eye. Lower and upper jaws equal. Preorbital with a strong pro- 
jection in front. Suprascapula, opercle, and subopercle striated. 
Two opercular spines. No spine at end of snout. Posterior nostril 
without denticles. D XII 13, 4th-6th spines longest ; A IV 9. 

o 

Scales striate : 1.1. 47-48 ; l.tr. ?. 

7 

Length. — Up to 160 mm. 

Colour. — Deep red with about 10 or 11 white stripes, spinous dorsal 
dark maroon with a continuous or discontinuous white stripe, other 
fins rosy. 

Locality. — Natal coast, Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific. 

Holocentrum rubrum (Forsk.). 
Red Soldier-fish. 

1775. Forskal, Descr. Anim., p. 48. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 172, pi. xli, fig. 4. 

1921. Gilchrist, Tr. Eoy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. x, pt. 1, p. 24. 

Depth 2|-, length of head 3, in length of body. Eye 3^ in length of 
head, greater than snout. Interorbital 4|-5 in length of head. 
Upper processes of premaxillae a little beyond vertical from anterior 
border of eye. Maxilla reaching to below anterior third of eye. 
Jaws equal. Preorbital with a strong projection in front, another 
behind, dentate between. Suprascapula, opercle, and subopercle 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 367 

strongly striated, coracoid and humeral less strongly striate. Two 
opercular spines. No spine at end of snout. Posterior nostril with 
3 dentales on posterior, 1 on anterior border. D XII 13-14, 4th 
and 5th spines longest ; A IV 9. Scales denticulate on margins 

3 
but very feebly striate : 1.1. 35-37 ; l.tr. -. (Plate XV, fig. 4.) 

6 

Length. — Up to 200 mm. 

Colour. — Red with about 8 white stripes ; fins rosy, sometimes with 
dusky blotches. 

Locality. — Port Amelia, Portuguese East Africa. 
Distribution.- — Indo-Pacific. 

Gen. MYRirRiSTis Cuv. 

1817. Cuvier, Regne Anim. 

Cleft of mouth rather oblique. No spine on preopercle. A single 
short opercular spine. Scales striate and denticulate, but not re- 
markably rough. Last dorsal spine stronger than in Holocentrum. 

Myripristis murdjan (Forsk.). 

1775. Forskal, Desc. Anim., p. 48. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 170, pi. xli, fig. 2. 

1905. Jordan and Evermann, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., p. 152, pi. v. 

1922. Norman, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. ix, p. 320. 

Depth 2|-3, length of head 3, in length of body. Eye 2^ in length 
of head, twice length of snout. Interorbital 4-4|^ in length of head. 
Maxilla reaching to below centre of eye. Suprascapula, opercle, 
preopercle, and subopercle striated. Preorbital serrate, without 
prominent tooth. D XI 13-14, 3rd spine longest ; A IV 12-13. 

3 

Scales striate and denticulate: 1.1. 28-30; l.tr. — . 

6-7 

Length. — Up to 300 mm. 

Colour. — Red, scales lighter in centre ; edge of operculum and axil 
of pectoral black ; first rays of soft dorsal, caudal, and anal white, 
followed by a deep red streak. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa, Indian seas, East Indies, 
Hawaii. 

Fam. 6. Melamphaidae. 

Dorsal and anal fins with a few slender spines, caudal with 17 
branched rays. Ventrals with 1 slender spine and 6-9 rays. Palate 



368 Annals of the South African Museum. 

toothless. A single supramaxilla. No orbitosptenoid. Nasal bones 
separate. Scales cycloid. Branchiostegals 8. 

This family comprises a few genera, all inhabitants of deep water. 
Only one genus has yet been met with in our region. 

Gen. Plectromus Gill. 

1883. Gill, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. vi, p. 257. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 278 
(united with Melamphaes) (key to species). 

Head large, with wide mucif erous cavities, and often with f oliaceous 
projections. Cleft of mouth somewhat oblique. Villiform teeth in 
2 (usually) rows in both jaws. Dorsal with 2-3 spines. Ventrals 
with 7 rays. Anal arising below end of dorsal. Opercles not armed. 

The genus Melamphaes Gnthr. is separated by having 6 dorsal 
spines and the anal fin arising behind the end of the dorsal. Brauer 
{loc. cit.), however, does not consider these distinctions to be of 
generic importance. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Scales very large, 1.1. 14-16 ....... mizolepis. 

2. Scales moderate, 1.1. 25 or more. 

a. J> III 10. Scales 25 ....... . coronatus. 

b. D II 11. Scales 39 ..... . macrophthalmus. 

* Plectromus mizolepis (Gnthr.). 

1878. Giinther, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (5), vol. ii, p. 185. 

1906. Brauer, Wiss. Erg. D. Tiefsee Exp., vol. xv, pt. 1, p. 280, 
pi. xiii, fig. 1. 

1911. Zugmayer, Res. Camp. Sci. Monaco, fasc. xxxv, p. 96, pi. v, 
fig. 1. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 65. 

Depth 3|, length of head 2h, in length of body. Eye about 6 in 
length of head. Maxilla reaching to level of front margin of eye or a 
little beyond. Head without fohaceous processes. D III 9-11 ; 
A I 8, arising below middle of dorsal ; P 12-14, reaching beyond end 
of anal. Depth of caudal peduncle 2 in length. Scales very large : 
1.1. 13-16. 

Length. — Up to 125 mm. 

Colour. — Dark bluish grey or black. 

Locality. — Ofi Table Bay, 500 fathoms. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 369 

Distribution. — Tropical and subtropical Atlantic and Indo-Pacific 
oceans, to 2000 fathoms. 

*Plectromus coronatus G. and von B. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., vii, 
p. 14. 

Depth about 3|, length of head about 2J, in length of body. Eye 

about 5^ in length of head. Head with a median spine in front of 

eye, and a crenulate crown-like crest above eye. D III 10 ; A I 9 ; 

2 
P 8, reaching to base of anal. Scales moderate : 1.1. 25 ; l.tr. -• 

(Extent of maxilla and position of origin of anal not mentioned.) 

Length. — ?. 

Colour. — ?. 

Locality. — Ofi Table Bay and St Helena Bay, 500 and 900 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

In the possession of cutaneous processes on the head, this species 
is closely related to P. beani Gnthr. from the Central Atlantic. 

*Plectro7nus macrophthalmus Gilch. 

1903. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. ii, p. 205, pi. xiii, fig. 2. 

1922. Id., Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 66. 

Depth nearly 4, length of head 3, in length of body. Eye 2| in 
length of head. Maxilla extending to below middle of eye. Head 
without foliaceous processes. D II 11 ; A I 9, arising below posterior 
third of dorsal ; P reaching to middle of anal ; V nearly reaching 
vent. Depth of caudal peduncle 3f in length. Scales moderate : 
1.1. 39 ; l.tr. 7. (Plate XV, fig. 2.) 

Length. — Up to 42 mm. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point and Table Bay, 360-1014 fathoms. 

Type lost ? 

As Gilchrist remarked, this species is closely allied to P. megalops 
Liitken in the large eye and long caudal peduncle. P. megalops has 
been found in the Gulf of Guinea, and it is very probable that the Cape 
specimens should be identified with this species, though they have 
an even more slender caudal peduncle. 

Division 15. ZEOMORPHI. 

(See Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. vi, p. 481). 
Air-bladder without an open duct (physoclystic). No mesocoracoid. 
Orbitosphenoid absent. Maxilla strongly protractile. A single 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 24 



370 Annals of the South African Museum. 

dorsal, with well-developed spinous portion, which may be separate 
from the soft rays. Anal spines few, more or less separate from soft 
rays. Ventral fins thoracic, with or without 1 spine, and 5-10 rays. 
Caudal fin rounded or truncate, rarely slightly emarginate. Teeth 
small, in narrow bands or single series in pairs and sometimes on 
vomer and palatine. Branchiostegals 4-8. Pseudobranchiae present. 
Scales small, or rudimentary or with bony plates, or vertically 
elongated. 

The members of this group are easily recognised by the high and 
strongly compressed shape of the body. They are world-wide in 
distribution, and the majority seem to be inhabitants of the deeper 
parts of the oceans. 

Key to the South African families . 

1. No slit behind last gilJ. 

a. Scales vertically elongated, closely contiguous . G)-ammicolepidae. 

b. Scales small, minute, or absent ...... Zeidae. 

2. A slit behind last gill . . . . . . . . Caproidae. 

Fam. 1. GrRAMMICOLEPIDAE. 

Body compressed. Scales vertically elongated, linear, closely 
contiguous, giving a very smooth appearance. Mouth small, terminal, 
not very protractile ; cleft subvertical. No supramaxilla. Teeth 
minute, on the jaws only. Lateral line more or less strongly arched 
anteriorly. Spinous portion of dorsal fin more or less separated from 
the soft portion. Soft anal preceded by 2 or 3 spines more or less 
separated. Pectoral and ventral small, the latter of 1 spine and 
6 (or 7) rays. Caudal rounded or slightly emarginate. Grill-membranes 
broadly united. No cleft behind last gill {Xenolepidichthys). 
Branchiostegals 4 {Grammicolepis and Xenolefidichthys). Gill-rakers 
short and rather stout (Xenolepidichthys). Pseudobranchiae absent 
(Xenolepidichthys). Pyloric caeca very few {Xenolepidichthys). 

Three monotypic genera are known, all agreeing in the peculiar 
character of the scales which at once distinguishes them from all other 
fishes : Grammicolepis Poey from Cuba, Vesposus Jordan from Hawaii, 
and the South African Xenolepidichthys. 

Gen. Xenolepidichthys Gilch. 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., vol. iii, p. 73. 

Body about as deep as long. Scales greatly elongate, vertically 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 371 

striate, but without denticulate margins. Operculum scaly. Spinous 
and soft portions of dorsal and anal united, the 2nd dorsal and 1st 
anal spines elongate, stout, serrulate. A series of short spines along 
bases of dorsal and anal. Ventral moderate. Caudal truncate or 
slightly emarginate. Pseudobranchiae absent. Gill-rakers short 
and rather stout. Branchiostegals 4. Pyloric caeca very few. 

This genus resembles Vesposus more than the type genus, in the 
presence of well-marked spines at bases of vertical fins, scaly oper- 
culum, and striated scales. 

Xenolepidichthys dalgleishi Gilch. 

1922. Gilchrist, loc. cit., p. 73, pi. xii, fig. 1. 

Depth equal to distance from tip of snout to base of caudal peduncle, 
length of head 3|-3f in length of body. Eye 2-2J in length of head. 
Maxilla rugulose, reaching to midway between tip of snout and eye. 
Preopercle with double serrulate edge. Supraorbital ridges more or 
less denticulate. D V 27-29, 1st spine minute, 2nd stout, 2^2i 
in length of head, 3rd-5th slender and decreasing in length, but 5th 
distinctly longer than 1st soft ray, longest soft ray longer than 2nd 
spine, 2 in length of head ; A II 28, 1st spine 2-3 times as long as 
2nd dorsal spine and more slender, 2nd spine very short but longer 
than the 1st of the soft rays, which increase in length posteriorly 
where they are as long as the dorsal rays ; V I 6 (occasionally 7), 
length of longest ray about equal to eye ; P 14-15, about half length 
of head. Caudal truncate or slightly emarginate. Scales with about 
6 striae : 1.1. 80-85, l.tr. 5 (a few small ones on ventral margin not 
included), 3 on each side of, and 10 around, caudal peduncle ; lateral 
line forming a strong arch anteriorly, descending to middle of body 
about at the level of middle of soft dorsal, thence running horizontally 
on to caudal peduncle. Gill-rakers about 15 on anterior arch. 
(Plate XVI, fig. 1.) 

Length. — Up to 120 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, with round black spots ; spinous dorsal, anterior 
rays of ventral fin, and end of caudal also black ; the spots do not 
always become obsolete in full-grown examples. 

Locality. — Ofi Natal coast, 70-226 fathoms (s.s. " Pickle ") ; Algoa 
Bay, 50 fathoms (s.s. " Pieter Faure ") ; ofi Saldanha Bay, 180 
fathoms (South African Museum). 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

The above description differs in some few details from the original 
description. As Gilchrist remarks, the depth of the body in young 



372 Annals of the South African Museum. 

specimens is considerably greater in proportion to the length ; e.g. in 
a specimen 60 mm. long the depth is equal to the distance between 
tip of snout and base of caudal rays. 

Fam. 2. Zeidae. 
John Dories. 

Body compressed. Scales small, minute, or absent, sometimes 
converted into bony plates in some parts of the body Mouth large, 
terminal, more or less strongly protractile. No supramaxilla. Teeth 
small, in narrow bands or single series on jaws and vomer and some- 
times palatine. Opercle reduced, preopercle not serrate. Bones of 
head often with spines. Ventral edge of abdomen often with bony 
scutes. Lateral line usually well developed. Spinous and soft 
portions of dorsal and anal more or less separated. Anal spines 1-4. 
Ventrals well developed, originating in advance of, or below, dorsal, 
with a spine and 6-8 rays. Caudal rounded. Gill-membranes not 
broadly united. No slit behind last gill. Branchiostegals (6) 7-8. 
Gill-rakers usually short. Pseudobranchiae well developed. Pyloric 
caeca very numerous. 

Very little is known about the life-history of the Dories. The 
eggs are said to be demersal, but there is considerable probability 
that they are pelagic. Young stages have been described and figured 
by Schmidt (Medd. f. Komm. f. Havund. Ser. Fisk., Bd. ii. No. 9, 1908) 
and Clark (J. Mar. Biol. Assoc, n.s., vol. x, No. 2, 1914). The adults 
are mostly inhabitants of deep water. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I, Dorsal spines high. Scutes on belly. 

A. Four anal spines ........ Zeus. 

B. Three anal sj^ines ....... Zenopsis. 

II. Dorsal spines low. No scutes on belly. 

A. No vomerine teeth. Scales deciduous. 

1. Enlarged scales on back and belly. Preorbital narrow Cyttosoma. 

2. No enlarged scales. Preorbital moderate . . Pseudocyttus. 

B. Vomerine teeth. 

1. Scales adherent, ctenoid. 

a. Without enlarged scales .... Neocyttus. 

b. With enlarged scales ..... Allocyttus. 

2. Scales cycloid. • 

a. Ventral fin large, without spine . . . Paracyttopsis. 

b. Ventral fin moderate, with spine .... Zenion. 

The genera Cyttosoma, Pseudocyttus, Allocyttus, and Paracyttopsis 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 373 

as here defined possess only a single species each, Neocyttus has two. 
Paracyttopsis with its large spineless ventral fins is distinct enough, 
but the differences between the others seem scarcely of generic 
importance. Holt and Byrne (1908) did indeed suggest uniting 
Neocyttus with Cyttosoma and placed their new species helgae in the 
genus Cyttosoma as thus emended. C. helgae is nearest to N. rhom- 
boidalis, but differs in having the scaly interorbital area lanceolate. 

Gen. Zeus Linn. 

1758. Linne, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p. 137. 

Scales very small or absent. Scutes along bell}'. Dorsal fin with 
9-10 elongate spines. Anal with 4 spines. A series of spiny plates 
along bases of soft portion only of dorsal and anal (sometimes feebly 
developed along spinous portions also). Ventrals large, with 1 spine 
and 6 rays. Branchiostegals 7. 

The four species of this genus : faber, capensis, pungio, and 
japonicus, are very closely allied to each other. It is remarkable 
that there seems to be no difference between European and Australian 
examples of Z. faber. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Black spot on side above lateral line ...... capensis. 

2. Black spot on side below lateral line . . . . . . japonicus. 

Zeus capensis C. and V. 
Cape John Dory. 
1835. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. x, p. 23. 
1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 154 (comparison 
with/a6er). 

1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iv, p. 123 (references). 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 72. 

1923. Von Bonde, ibid., i, p. 26. 

Depth about 2, length of head about 2|, in length of body. Eye 
31-4 in length of head. D IX -X 23-24, A III-IV 20-21." Nine- 
thirteen spiny plates along base of soft dorsal, 9-11 along soft anal, 
each with a single (in adult) spine. Seven-nine keeled scutes along 
belly, with or without spines, 4-5 in front of ventrals. No clavicular 
spine. (Plate XVI, fig. 3.) 

Length. — Up to 600 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, with a round black spot on the side above the 
lateral line, pupil translucent, iris silvery. 



374 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Locality. — St Helena Bay, Saldanha Bay, Table Bay, Agulhas 
Bank to Natal, 20-100 fathoms. 

Very closely allied to the European Z. faber, especially in the 
juvenile stages. 

Zeus japonicus C. and V. 

Japanese John Dory. 

1835. Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. x, p. 24. 
1902. Jordan and Fowler, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxv, p. 517. 
1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iv, p. 123 (references). 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 72. 

1923. Von Bonde, ibid., i, p. 27. 

Depth about 2, length of head about 2h, in length of body. Eye 
4-41 in length of head. D X 22-24, A IV 20-22. Six-seven spiny 
plates along bases of soft dorsal and anal, each with 2 spines. Seven- 
eight single spines also along base of spinous dorsal, and 4 similar ones 
along spinous anal, all tending to become obsolete in larger specimens. 
Eight-nine keeled scutes along belly, and a similar number in front 
of ventrals, all with the keel ending behind in a spine. A prominent 
flattened, but apically blunt, clavicular spine above pectoral. 

Length. — Up to 400 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery, with a round black spot in middle of body below 
lateral line. 

Locality. — False Bay, Agulhas Bank to Natal, 30-180 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Japan . 

Closely allied to the Mediterranean species, Z. pungio. 

Gen. Zenopsis Gill. 

1862. Gill, Pr. Ac. Nat. Sci. Philad., p. 126. 

1912. Cliny, Ann. Sta. Aq. Boulogne, vol. ii, pp. 82, 104 {Para- 
zenopsis). 

Scales absent. Scutes along belly. Dorsal fin with 10 elongate 
spines. Anal spines 3. A series of large spiny plates along bases of 
both spinous and soft dorsal and soft anal. Ventrals large, with 
1 spine and 6-7 rays. Branchiostegals 7. 

Zenopsis conchifer (Lowe). 

Buckler Dory. 

1850. Lowe, Proc. Zool. Soc, p. 247. 

1860. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. ii, p. 395. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 31 o 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 72 (concifer 
laps, typogr.). 

Depth about 2, length of head 2|, in length of body. Eye 4^ in 
length of head. D X 24-25 ; A III 26. Striate bony plates, each 
with a single spine, along base of spinous dorsal 2-3, of soft dorsal 4-5, 
of soft anal 5-7. Seven-kneeled scutes along belly, each ending in a 
small spine, 2 scutes in front of ventrals. A small clavicular spine 
above pectoral. 

Length. — Up to 675 mm. 

Colour.- — Silvery, with a round black spot in middle of side, with or 
without additional round dark blotches. 

Locality. — Algoa Bay to Natal, 50-154 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Madeira. 

The specimen obtained by the s.s. " Pieter Faure " in Algoa Bay 
combines the characters mentioned by Gilchrist for the Natal 
specimens, and those of the type ; so that there is no question of the 
South African specimens belonging to a distinct species. The North 
American Z. ocellatus is probably also conspecific. A further question 
remains whether conchifer can really be separated from the Japanese 
and Australian species nebulosa Schleg. 

Gen. Cyttosoma Gilch. 

1904. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 6. 

1906. Id., ibid., vol. iv, p. 151. 

1908. Holt and Byrne, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. i, p. 88 (cum 
Neocyttus). 

1914. McCulloch, Sci. Res. Endeavour, vol. ii, pt. 3, p. 112. 

Scales small, mostly cycloid, deciduous, becoming enlarged and 
tuberculate on dorsal and ventral regions. No scutes along belly. 
No vomerine teeth. Dorsal with 6-8 short spines. Anal spines 3. 
A series of spinose scales, but no bony plates at bases of dorsal and 
anal. Ventrals moderate, of 1 spine and 7 rays, not received in a 
groove. Branchiostegals 7. Mouth very protractile. 

Cyttosoma boops Gilch. 

Ox-eye Dory. 

1904. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 6, pi. xxiii. 
1906. Id., ibid., vol. iv, p. 150. 
1914. McCulloch, loc. cit., p. 113. 



376 Annals of the South African Museum. 

1924. Gilclirist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., 
vii, p. 17. 

Depth nearly 2, length of head 2|— 2|, in length of body Eye 
very large, a little over \h in length of head. D VI- VIII 29-31, 
2nd or 3rd spine longest ; A III 28-30 ; V I 7, the spine longer than 
any of the dorsal spines, striated. Scales : 1.1. ca. 100. 

Length. — Up to 207 mm. 

Colour. — Dark brownish. 

Locality. — Ofi Table Bay, Cape Point, and Natal coast, 120-760 
fathoms. 

Distribution. — South Australia, 350-450 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

Gen. PsEUDOCYTTUs Gilch. 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 152. 

Scales small, cycloid, deciduous, replaced by small tubercles on 
dorsal and ventral regions, but without enlarged tubercles. No 
scutes along belly. Vomerine teeth absent. Dorsal with 6 short 
spines. Anal spines 2. No bony plates at bases of dorsal and anal. 
Ventrals moderate, of 1 spine and 5 rays, not received in a groove. 
Branchiostegals 6. 

^Pseudocyttus maculatus Gilch. 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 153, pi. xli. 

Depth If, length of head 3, in length of body. Eye 2| in length of 
head. D VI 34, 1st and 2nd spines longest ; A II 30 ; VIS, spine 
longer than dorsal spines. Scales : 1.1. ca. 100. 

Length. — Not given. 

Colour. — Greyish, with blue spots. 

Locality. — Ofi Cape Point, 315-400 fathoms. 

Type lost ? 

Only one specimen of this species was found by the s.s. '' Pieter 
Faure," and none apparently by the later survey vessel " Pickle." 

Gen. Neocyttus Gilch. 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 153. 
1908. Holt and Byrne, Ann. Mar. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. 1, p. 88 
(united with Cyttosoma). 

1914. McCulloch, Sci. Res. Endeavour, vol. ii, pt. 3, p. 119. 



PLATE XVI. 

PIG. TEXT-PAGE 

1. Xenolepidichthys dalgleishi Gilch. (original) ...... 371 

2. Anti'jonia rubescens (Gnthr.) (after Jordan and Fowler) . . . 380 

3. Zeus capensis C. and V. (original) ....... 373 

4. Allocyttus verrucosus (Gilch.) (after McCulloch) .... 378 



Ann. S. Afr. Mus., Vol. XXI. 



Plate XVI. 




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A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. oil 

Scales small, ctenoid, adherent, spinate on head and ventral region, 
but without enlarged tubercles. No scutes along belly. Vomerine 
teeth present. Dorsal with 7-8 short spines. Anal spines 3-4. A 
series of spinous scales but no bony plates at base of dorsal or anal. 
Ventrals moderate, of 1 spine and 6 rays, not received in a groove. 
Branchiostegals 7. 

The other species is N. acanthorhynehus Regan 1908, from the 
Indian Ocean. 

Neocyttus rhomboidalis Gilch. 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 153, pi. xlii. 

1914. McCulloch, Sci. Res. Endeavour, vol. ii, pt. 3, p. 119, fig. 8 
(var. gihhosus). 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 72. 

Depth 1|^, length of head 2|-2§, in length of body. Eye 2-2-| in 
length of head. D VII-VIII 33-35, 1st and 2nd spines stout, striate, 
2nd thrice as long as 1st, following spines more slender ; A III-IV 
30-33, 1st spine | length of 2nd dorsal spine ; V I 6, spine sub-equal 
to 2nd dorsal spine. Scales : 1.1. ca. 104. Scaly interorbital area 
rectangular. 

Length. — Up to 280 mm. 

Colour. — Silvery ; soft dorsal, anal, and ventral blackish. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, 312-600 fathoms. 

Distribution. — S. Australia, 350-450 fathoms. 

Tj^e lost ? Cotype in South African Museum. Type of var. 
gihhosus in Australian Museum, Sydney. 

The concavity of the dorsal profile is subject to much variation 
and it is doubtful whether the Australian form can be maintained 
even as a variety. Two specimens in the South African Museum, 
about 110 mm., have a more concave profile than the figures of both 
the type and the type of var. gihhosus. 

Gen. Allocyttus McCull. 

1914. McCulloch, Sci. Res. Endeavour, vol. ii, pt. 3, p. 114. 

Scales small, ctenoid, adherent, and tuberculate on head and ventral 
regions, with enlarged plates on sides below the pectorals. No scutes 
along belly. Vomerine teeth present. Dorsal with 6 short spines. 
Anal spines 2-3. No spiny plates at base of dorsal or anal. Ventrals 
moderate, of 1 spine and 6 rays, not received in a groove. Branchio- 
stegals 7. 



378 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Allocyttus verrucosus (Gilch.). 

1906. Gilclirist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 151, pi. xl. 

1914. McCullocli, Sci. Ees. Endeavour, vol. ii, pt. 3, p. 116, fig. 7 
(var. propinquus). 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 71. 

Depth l^-lf, length of head 2^-2i, in length of body. Eye 2-2i 
in length of head. D VI 30-32, 1st spine short, ^ (or less) length of 
2nd, which is stout, and about f diameter of eye ; A II-III 28-29, 
spines shorter than 2nd dorsal spine ; V I 6, spine longer than 2nd 
dorsal spine. Scales : 1.1. ca. 87-95. (Plate XVI, fig. 4.) 

Length. — Up to 325 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish (as preserved), with rounded blotches in the 
young. 

Locality. — Off Cape Point, S. of Agulhas Bank, and Natal coast, 
324-890 fathoms. 

Distribution. — South Australia, 350-450 fathoms. 

Type lost ? Topot}^es in South African Museum. Type of var. 
propinquus in Australian Museum, Sydney. 

The varietal name can scarcely be maintained. 

Gen. Paracyttopsis G. and v. B. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., vii, 
p. 18. 

Scales rather small, cycloid, without enlarged tuhercles. No scutes 
along belly. Vomerine teeth present. Dorsal with 7 short spines. 
Anal spines 2. Bony plates at bases of dorsal and anal. Ventrals 
large, without spines, of 10 rays. Branchiostegals (?). 

^Paracyttopsis scutatus G. and v. B. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, loc. cit., p. 18, pi. v. 

Depth If, length of head nearly 3, in length of body. Eye 2^ in 
length of head. Profile of head in front of eyes nearly vertical. 
Mouth not very oblique. D AT^I 28, 3rd spine longest, equal to 
diameter of eye ; A II 29, 1st spine very strong, 2nd very small ; 
V 10, reaching beyond origin of anal. Median line of throat and belly 
with 2 strong and 2 weak spines. Scales : 1.1. 84. 

Length. — 125 mm. 

Colour. — Light grey ; ventrals blackish. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 226 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 379 

Gen. Zenion J. and E. 

1896. Jordan and Evermann, Check-list Fishes, p. 418. 

1898. Id., Fish. N. and Mid. Amer., vol. ii, p. 1661. 

Scales very small, without enlarged tubercles. No scutes along 
belly. Vomerine teeth present. Dorsal with 6-7 short spines 
originating above ventrals. JSIo anal spines or a single feeble one. 
Spiny plates along bases of soft dorsal and anal. Ventrals moderate, 
of 1 spine and 6 rays, not received in a groove. Branchiostegals 8. 

Differs from Cyttus in the position of origin of dorsal fin and the 
ventrals not being received in a groove on belly. 

Two species are known. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Dorsal arising above ventrals ...... hololepis. 

2. Dorsal arising in advance of ventrals ..... leptolepis. 

^Zenion hololepis (G. and B.). 

1895. Goode and Bean, Ocean. Ichthyol., p. 225, figs. 233, 233 a, b. 

1898. Jordan and Evermann, loc. cit., p. 1661. 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., vii, 
p. 17. 

Depth 2|, length of head 2-|, in length of body. Eye not quite 
2 in length of head. D VI-VII 26, 1st spine J length of 2nd, which 
equals eye and is serrulate on front margin. Dorsal arising above 
ventrals. A 23. Spiny plates at bases of soft dorsal and anal well 
developed. V I 6, the spine equal to diameter of eye. Scales : 
1.1. 67. Gill-rakers 14-15, very small. 

Length. — Up to 85 mm. 

Colour. — Not mentioned. 

Locality. — Off Delagoa Bay, 240 fathoms. 

Distribution.- — West Indies. 

*Zenion leptolepis (G. and v. B.). 

1924. Gilchrist and von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., vii. 
p. 17. 

Depth 2|, length of head 24, in length of body. Eye 3 in length of 
head. D VII 28, arising in advance of ventrals, spines not serrulate. 
A I 32. Spiny plates at bases of soft dorsal and anal present ?. 
V I 5, the spine slightly longer than longest dorsal spine. Scales : 
1.1. 90. Gill-rakers (?). 

Length. — Up to 160 mm. 

Colour. — Not mentioned. 



380 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Locality. — Natal coast and off Delagoa Bay, 180-218 fathoms. 
Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Fam. 3. Caproidae. 
Boar-fishes. 

Body compressed. Scales small, ctenoid. Mouth terminal, more 
or less protractile. Supramaxilla sometimes present. Teeth minute, 
on jaws and sometimes also on vomer and palatine. Spinous and 
soft portions of dorsal and anal more or less separated ; 3 anal spines. 
Ventrals with 1 spine and 5 rays. Caudal rounded. A slit behind 
last gill. Branchiostegals 6. Pseudobranchiae present. Pyloric 
caeca few. 

Two living genera, Cajpros Lacep. and Antigonia Lowe. 

Gen. Antigonia Lowe. 

1843. Lowe, Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., p. 85. 

Body very deep. Mouth small, moderately protractile. Maxilla 
broad, with a large supramaxilla. Premaxillary processes not very 
long, only just reaching frontals. Preopercle serrate. Spinous 
dorsal shorter than soft portion. Teeth on jaws only. 

Six closely allied species in tropical and subtropical seas. 

"^Antigonia rubescens (Gnthr.). 
Red Boar -fish. 
1847. Schlegel, Fauna Jap. Poiss., p. 84, pi. xlii, fig. 2 {Hypsinotus 
sp.). 

1860. Gunther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. ii, p. 63. 
1902. Jordan and Fowler, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxv, p. 523, 
fig. 2. 

1913. Weber, Siboga Exped. Monogr., 57, p. 299. 

1921. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. vii, p. 412 {capros 
non Lowe). 

1922. Gilchrist, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., iii, p. 74. 

Depth about equal to length, length of head 2f in length of body. 
Eye 3 in length of head. Snout about equal to eye. Cleft of mouth 
nearly vertical. D IX 26-29, first 2 spines short, 3rd longest, nearly 
equal to length of head ; A III 25-28 ; P I 11-13 ; V I 5. Scales : 
LI. ca. 60, 6 rows on cheek. (Plate XYI, fig. 2.) 

Length. — Up to 150 mm. 

Colour. — Bright rosy red. 

Locality.— 'Satal coast, 160-230 fathoms. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 381 

Distribution. — Indian seas, East Indies, Japan, 34-300 fatlioms. 

Gilchrist gives no details of his specimens except the fin formulae. 
All the specimens are clearly distinct from the Atlantic species 
A. capros. 

The question remains, however, whether A. malayana Weber 
(1913, loc. cit., p, 299, fig. 69) is not synonymous with ruhescens. 

Division 16. HETEROSOMATA. 

1910. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8), vol. vi, p. 484 (anatomy 
and classification). 

Air-bladder absent (in adult). Body strongly compressed, asym- 
metrical, with both eyes on one side. Skull twisted anteriorly. 
Mouth more or less protractile, margin of upper jaw formed by pre- 
maxillae only. Teeth often small and reduced, or absent. No 
mesocoracoid. Dorsal and anal fins long, without spines (except in 
Psettodes). Ventrals thoracic or jugular, with 6 or fewer rays and no 
spine (except in Psettodes). Caudal free, or confluent with dorsal and 
anal. Pectorals often reduced or absent. Scales cycloid or ctenoid, 
or absent. Lateral line single, double or treble, or absent altogether. 
Pseudobranchiae present. 

This group, comprising the Soles and Flounders, is one of the most 
remarkable among living fishes. In no other fishes is a similar 
asymmetry of the body found. As a consequence of this asymmetry 
these Flat-fishes do not swim vertically but horizontally, with undidat- 
ing movements of the body and the marginal fins, as do the Skates 
and Rays. Moreover, they spend the greater part of their time 
lying on the bottom, more or less covered with sand and gravel. 
Thus, as in the Skates, only the upper side of the body is pigmented, 
the under side being usually whitish and without markings. 

The most remarkable point about the asymmetry, however, is the 
presence of both eyes on the one (upper) side. 

The young larva is shaped like a normal fish and swims vertically, 
though it is quite transparent. When the tendency to lie on the 
bottom sets in, the body turns over to one side or the other, and the 
eye on the lower side gradually migrates across the head so as to lie 
alongside its fellow on the upper side. This migration of the one eye 
takes place while the bones of the skull are still cartilaginous, and is 
accompanied by a greater or lesser amount of torsion of the anterior 
part of the skull. After the migration of the eye is complete, ossifica- 
tion of the bones of the skull sets in. 



382 , Annals of the South African Museum. 

In some cases the shifting of the eye is complete before the dorsal 
fin has extended on to the snout. In other cases the dorsal fin has 
extended on to the snout first, when the migrating eye passes through 
below base of the fin, and gave rise among early observers to the 
belief that the eye passed actually through the skull. 

In the great majority of Flat-fishes each species is constantly either 
dextral or sinistral, i.e. it has the eyes on the right or left side respec- 
tively. In every species, however, reversed examples are occasionally 
found ; and some few species have no constant tendency either way, 
i.e. dextral and sinistral specimens are about equally numerous. 

The Heterosomata are marine, world-wide in distribution, and the 
majority are inhabitants of shallow water, though some live at con- 
siderable depths. Some are estuarine, and occasionally ascending 
rivers. Amongst the shallow-water forms at least, fishery researches 
have shown that extensive migrations occur at the spawning season. 
The eggs are pelagic, some possessing one or more oil-globules, some 
none at all. 

Flat-fishes seem to be mostly carnivorous, living on other fishes — ■ 
Crustacea, molluscs, worms, etc. — those with feeble dentition and 
small mouths living on the minuter forms. 

They possess considerable chameleonic powers of altering the 
colour of the upper surface to harmonise with the surrounding bottom 
on which they rest. Most species seem to prefer a sandy, gravelly, 
or muddy bottom. 

The Flat-fishes are one of the most important groups of fishes 
economically. This is especially the case in the Northern Hemisphere 
where such forms as the Halibut, Plaice, Turbot, Sole, Dab, Flounder 
occur abundantly. The Halibut reaches a length of 10 feet. Their 
life-history and migrations have therefore been the subject of much 
research and experiment by several fishery commissions. 

The group is well represented in South African Waters, though only 
a few of the species are economically important. The two most 
important forms are Austroglossus pectoralis and Synaptura microlepis. 

The classification of the group is not altogether stable. I have 
followed Eegan (1910, loc. cit., and 1920, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 5, 
p. 205). A useful summary of the South African Flat-fishes, including 
descriptions of new species, is given by von Bonde (1922, Fish. Mar. 
Surv. Spec. Rep., i *), but I have not followed the arrangement 
there adopted. No subfamilies are here recognised : von Bonde's 

* The pagination in the author's reprints of the Special Report is different from 
that in the bound volume. The latter is here quoted. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 383 

arrangement differs radically from Regan's, and Eegan is not con- 
sistent as to the position of e.g. Engyprosopon. Therefore keys to 
the genera only in each family are given. 

Forty-five species are here recognised, thirty-three of which are 
peculiar to South Africa. 

Key to the South African families. 
I. Anterior dorsal rays spinous. Ventral with one spine (Psettodoidea) 

Psettodidae. 
II. All iin rays soft and articulated. 

A. Preoperculum with free edge. Lower jaw prominent (Pleuronectoidea). 

1. Sinistral ......... Bothidne. 

2. Dextral. 

a. GiU- membranes united .... Pleuronectidae. 

b. GiU-membranes separate . . . Paralichthodidae. 

B. Preopercular edge hidden under the skin. Lower jaw not prominent 

(Soleoidea). 

1. Dextral ......... Soleidae. 

2. Sinistral . . . . . . . . Cynoglossidae. 

Fam. 1. Psettodidae. 

Dorsal fin not extending forward on to head ; anterior rays spinous 
though feeble. Ventrals nearly symmetrical, with 1 feeble spine 
and 5 soft rays. Mouth large, lower jaw prominent, teeth strong, 
pointed ; jaws and dentition equally developed on both sides ; 
palatines toothed. Maxilla with well-developed supramaxilla. Pre- 
opercle with free edge. Gill-rakers absent. Sinistral and dextral 
individuals equally numerous. 

A single genus containing one widely distributed species. This 
form is the least specialised of all the Flat-fishes, retaining a number of 
features characteristic of the Percoids, from an ancestor of which 
group the Heterosomata are considered to have sprung. 

Gen. PsETTODES Benn. 
1831. Bennett, Proc. Zool. Soc, vol. i, p. 147. 
1862. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iv, p. 401. 
With the characters of the family. 

Psettodes erumei (Bl. Schn.). 
The Adalah. 
1801. Bloch-Schneider, Syst. Ichthyol., p. 150. 
1866-72. Bleeker, Atlas Ichthyol., vol. vi, p. 4, pi. ccxxxii. fig. 2. 
1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 422, pi. xci, fig. 4. 



384 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Body ovate, rather elongate. Depth 2^2f , length of head S^, in 
length of body. Upper eye in advance of lower, about equal to 
interorbital width and 6| in head. D 47-56, about the first 10 rays 
spinous ; A 35-41. Pectoral 2^ in length of head. Caudal rounded. 
Scales ctenoid : 1.1. ca. 75. (Plate XVII, fig. 1.) 

Length. — Up to 600 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish ; dorsal and anal fins blackish, edged with white ; 
a broad whitish band across base of caudal ; young sometimes with 
4 broad dark cross-bands. 

Locality. — Delagoa Bay. 

Distribution. — West Africa, Indo-Pacific. 

Fam. 2. Bothidae. 

Sinistral. Dorsal fin extending forward in front of eye or on to 
snout, all the fin rays articulated. Ventrals with 6 or fewer rays. 
Mouth with lower jaw more or less prominent. No teeth on palatine. 
No supramaxilla. Preopercle with free edge. Olfactory laminae 
arranged transversely to, or radiating from, a central axis. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Interorbital space wide or moderately wide. 

A. Scales small, 1.1. 80 or more. ...... BotJius. 

B. Scales moderate, 1.1. 60-60 ...... Crossorhombus. 

C. Scales rather large, 1.1. 36^5 ...... Scaeops. 

II. Interorbital space narrow, or a mere bony ridge. 

A. Ventrals equal, with short bases. 

1. Ventrals sj'mmetrical ..... Pseudorhombus. 

2. Left ventral median, right lateral . . . Paracitharus. 

B. Ventrals imequal, bases long, especially that of right fin. 

1. Mouth verj' large, lower jaw very prominent . . Chascanopsetta. 

2. Mouth moderate or small, lower jaw not very prominent. 

a. Scales ctenoid. Anterior teeth enlarged . Trichopsetta. 

b. Scales feebly ctenoid or cycloid. Anterior teeth not enlarged. 

i. Gill-rakers slender. .... Arnoglossus. 
ii. GiU-rakers short, stout. 

a. None of dorsal rays separate . . . Laeops. 

(i. Fii-st 2 dorsal rays separate . . Lambdopsetta. 

Gen. BoTHUS Raf. 

1810. Rafinesque, Indice d' Ittiol. Sicil. 

1839. Swainson, Nat. Hist. Class. Fishes, vol. ii, p. 302 {Platophrys). 
1856, Bleeker, Act. Soc. Sci. Ned. Ind., vol. i, p. 67 {Rhom- 
boidichthys). 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 385 

Eyes moderately large, well separated. Interorbital space concave. 
Mouth moderate, teeth small, uni- or bi-serial. Gill-membranes united. 
• Dorsal fin originating on snout. Left ventral median, long-based, 
right with shorter base. Upper pectoral rays produced in ^. Scales 
small, adherent, ctenoid on left, cycloid on right side. Lateral line 
on both sides, strongly arched anteriorly. 

Mediterranean, Tropical Atlantic and Indo-Pacific. 



Bothus pantherinus (Riipp.). 
Mottled Flounder. 

1828. Riippell, Atlas Fische, p. 121, pi. xxxi, fig. 1. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 400 (references). 

1920. Regan, ibid., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 212, text-fig. 3. 

1925. Von Bonde, Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 287. 

Body ovate. Depth lf-2, length of head 3J-4, in length of body. 
Eye 3|^-4 in length of head. Interorbital width equal to (cj), or less 
than ($), eye. D 85-93, A 65-70. Upper 3 or 4 rays of left pectoral 
in (J elongate, often reaching caudal. Scales : 1.1. 80-90. In o 
bony tubercles on snout and antorbital and supraorbital margins of 
both eyes ; eye with 2 cutaneous flaps posteriorly. 

Length. — Up to 450 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish with faint darker spots and rings, a large 
black spot on lateral line in posterior half of body. 

Locality. — Natal coast, Kosi Bay, Delagoa Bay, 2-60 fathoms. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa, Indo-Pacific. 



Gen. Crossorhombus Regan. 

■ 1920. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 211. 

Eyes moderately large, widely separated. Interorbital space 
concave, wider in (^ than 2. Mouth rather small, teeth small, uni- 
serial. Gill-membranes united. Dorsal fin originating in advance 
of lower eye. Left ventral median, long-based, right with shorter 
base. Upper pectoral ray produced in adult cj. Scales rather large, 
adherent, strongly ciliate on left side, weakly ciliate or cycloid on 
right. Lateral line on both sides strongly arched anteriorly. 

Indo-Pacific. Scarcely separable from either Bothus or Scaeops 
except by the larger scales. 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 25 



386 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Crossorhomhus dimorphus (Gilch.). 
Broad-forehead Flounder. 

1904. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Ah., vol. iii, p. 10, pi. xxvii. 

1906. Id., ibid. ,Yo\. iv, p. 161 {Platophys grandisquama non Schlegel). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 400. 

1920. Eegan, ibid., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 212. 

1920. Id., ibid., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 211 {Engyprosopon natalensis). 

Body ovate, broader in S than $. Depth lf-2, length of head 3|-4, 
in length of body. Eye in young considerably greater than, in 
adult $ equal to, and in adult S l^ times in interorbital width. 
D 85-90, A 70-75. Left pectoral about | length of head, but with 
the uppermost ray (or upper 2 rays) produced in cj to a length twice 
as long as head. Scales : 1.1. 50-60. In 3* a bony tubercle on snout, 
and 2-3 on the antorbital margins of both eyes. 

Length. — Up to 140 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish-brown with more or less distinct dark spots on 
the body and obscure patches along dorsal and anal fins. 

Locality. — Natal and Zululand, 3-30 fathoms ; Delagoa Bay. 

Type in South African Museum ; of natalensis in British Museum. 

For the sinking of Engyprosopon natalensis as a synonym, the 
following explanation may be given. The original specimens recorded 
by Gilchrist as Platophrys grandisqiiama are in the South African 
Museum, nine in number, and measuring up to 70 mm. The bottle 
bears a label in Gilchrist's writing to the effect that a pair were sent 
to the British Museum. These are evidently the types of Regan's 
natalensis. All the specimens have lost the scales to such an extent 
that it is impossible to count them accurately. The few scales that 
do remain are exactly similar to those of C. dimorphus (not at all 
" weakly ctenoid," as Regan writes in his generic diagnosis of Engy- 
prosopon). In other respects also they are exactly similar to other 
juvenile specimens of C. dimorphus, of which I have examined a large 
number. The extent of the gill-opening is not a vaHd character. 
At a length of 60-75 mm. the males are just beginning to develop the 
tubercles on. snout and orbits, but the pectoral ray is not elongate. 
I have come to the conclusion that E. natalensis is nothing more than 
the young of C. dimorphus. Other instances where the adult male, 
female, and young have all been described as different species of 
Platophrys, Scaeops, Engyprosopon are not unknown. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 387 

Gen. ScAEOPS J. and S. 

1904. Jordan and Starks, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., vol. xxii (1902), 
p. 627. 

1906. Id., Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxxi, p. 168. 

Eyes moderately large, widely separated. Interorbital space 
concave, wider in (S than $. Mouth small, teeth small, uniserial. 
Grill-membranes united. Gill-rakers very short. Dorsal fin originat- 
ing on snout. Left ventral median, long-based, right with shorter 
base. Upper pectoral rays not produced in cj. Scales moderate or 
rather large, deciduous, ctenoid on left, cycloid on right. 

Distinguished from Platophrys and Crossorhomhus by not having 
the pectoral rays produced in the adult, and the larger deciduous 
scales. 

^Scaeops grandisqiiama (Schl.). 

1846. Schlegel, Fauna Jap. Poiss., p. 183, pi. xcii, figs. 3, 4. 

1904. Jordan and Starks, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., vol. xxii, p. 627, 
pi. viii, fig. 2. 

1906. Id., Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxxi, p. 168, fig. 1. 

1925. Von Bonde, Tr. Eoy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 287. 

Body ovate. Depth 14, length of head 4|, in length of body. 
Eye 3| in length of head. Interorbital space 2h in (5^, 4 in $ in length 
of head, narrower in the young. D 79, A 60. Left pectoral equal 
to length of head, right only half as long. Scales : 1.1. 36-40. In ^ 
a bony tubercle on snout, and several tubercles or serrations on 
antorbital and interorbital margins of both eyes. 

Length. — Up to 120 mm. 

Colour. — Light brown, mottled with darker ; dorsal, anal, and left 
ventral with small dark spots, a conspicuous black spot on upper and 
lower edges of caudal. 

Locality. — Natal to Delagoa Bay, to 30 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Indo-Pacific to Japan. 

Gen. PsEUuoRHOMBUs Blkr. 

1862. Bleeker, C. R. Acad. Amsterdam, vol. xiii, p. 5. 

1920. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 207. 

Eyes large, narrowly separated. Mouth moderate or rather large, 
teeth conical, uniserial. Gill-membranes united Dorsal fin originat- 
ing immediately in front of upper eye. Ventrals short-based, sym- 
metrical. Scales small or moderate, ctenoid on left side, cycloid on 



388 Annals of the South African Museum. 

right. Lateral line on both sides, with a strong curve anteriorly and 
an accessory branch running forwards to the anterior (8th-llth) 
dorsal rays. 
Indo-Pacific. 



Pseudorhombus russelli (Gray). 
RusselVs Flounder. 

1834. Gray, lUustr. Ind. Zool., pi. xciv, fig. 2. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 423, pi. xci, fig. 5 {arsius). 

1904. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 8, pi. xxv {natalensis) . 

1904. Id., ibid., p. 9, pi. xxvi (andersoni). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 399 (references). 

1920. Began, ibid., vol. ii, pt. 5, pp. 208, 209, text-fig. 1. 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 15. 

1925. Id., Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 290. 

Body ovate. Depth about 2, length of head 3^-4, in length of body. 
Maxilla extending to below anterior (young) or posterior third of 
eyes, which are at same level. Teeth minute and numerous in young, 
adult with 5-10 rather strong on either side of lower jaw, and 2-4 in 
the front of the upper jaw. D 67-81 ; A 52-61, a short spine in front 
of anal in young ; P |-| length of head. Scales : 1.1. 70-85. Acces- 
sory branch of lateral line extending to base of dorsal rays or at least 
half way. (Plate XVII, fig. 2.) 

Length. — Up to 365 mm. 

Colour. — Brown with darker more or less ocellate spots and markings 
on body, smaller spots on fins, a large dark spot at beginning of the 
straight pair of lateral lines ; all the spots more prominent in the young 
than the adult. 

Locality. — East London to Delagoa Bay, 20-60 fathoms. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa, Indo-Pacific to Australia. 

T}7pes of natalensis and andersoni in South African Museum. 

After an examination of a large series of all sizes, including the 
types and several cotypes of natalensis, I am unable to recognise 
natalensis as a separate species. 

P. andersoni is a freak example, showing ctenoid scales and colora- 
tion on both sides and incomplete forward extension of the dorsal fin 
due to delayed or arrested migration of the eye (c/. Cunningham, 
Marketable Marine Fishes, 1896, p. 208 : " In certain Flat-fishes, 
especially the turbot, specimens are occasionally taken in which 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 389 

the dorsal fin does not extend forward in the usual manner, but forms 
a hook overhanging the eye nearest it . . . "). 

Gen. Paracitharus Regan. 

1920. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 209. 

Eyes large, narrowly separated. Mouth rather large, teeth small, 
in bands, without canines. Gill-membranes separate. Dorsal fin 
originating immediately in front of upper eye. Posterior nostril on 
right side covered by a large valvular flap of skin. Ventrals short- 
based, the left median and a little in advance of right. Scales rather 
large, ctenoid on left, cycloid on right. Lateral line developed on 
both sides, strongly curved anteriorly, tubules bifurcate. 

A single South African species. 

Paracitharus macrolepis (Gilch.). 
Large-scaled Flounder. 

1904. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 12, pi. xxxi. 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 398. 

1920. Regan, he. cit., p. 210, text-fig. 2. 

1925. Von Bonde, Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 288. 

Body elongate ovate. Depth 2^, length of head 3^, in length of 
body. Lower jaw prominent. Maxilla extending to below middle 
or posterior third of lower eye, which is slightly behind the upper. 
Teeth in a narrow band in front, becoming a single series posteriorly. 
D 65-72, A 45-50. Left pectoral a little over half length of head, 
right rather less. Scales : 1.1. 43-47. 

Length. — Up to 215 mm. 

Colour. — Light brown with a few dark patches on body and dorsal 
and anal fins ; two black patches on body at extremities of dorsal and 
anal fins. 

Locality. — Natal, Zululand, and Delagoa Bay, 50-100 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

Gen. Chascanopsetta Alck. 

1894. Alcock, J. Asiast. Soc. Beng., vol. Ixiii, p. 128. 
1897. Gilbert and Cramer, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xix, p. 432 
(Pelicanichthys) . 

Eyes moderate, narrowly separated by a flat interorbital space. 



390 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Mouth very large, gape as long as head, lower jaw more or less pro- 
jecting beyond upper. Teeth uniserial, slender. Membrane between 
lower jaws more or less distensible, forming a gular pouch. Gill- 
membranes united. Gill-rakers absent. Dorsal originating on snout. 
Left ventral median, long-based, right with shorter base. Pectorals 
unequal. Scales exceedingly small cycloid. Lateral line on both 
sides arched in front. Vent displaced on to right side of median line, 
with a papilla in the corresponding position on left side. 
Deep-sea forms from the Indo-Pacific. 

Chascanopsetta gilcJiristi von B. 
Pelecan Flounder. 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 7. 

1922. Id., ibid., p. 8, pi. ii, fig. 1 {maculata). 

1925. Id., Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 288 {maculata). 

Body elongate ovate. Depth 3;|-4, length of head 4|^-5j, in length 
of body. Eye 3i-3| in length of head. D 110-124; A 80-85; 
P 15-16, right fin only half length of left. Lower jaw projecting a 
little beyond upper. Scales : 1.1. ca. 145. Lateral line forming a 
flat-topped arch in front. 

Length. — Up to 215 mm. 

Colour.- — Brownish, with more or less distinct darker spots on body ; 
dorsal, anal, and caudal tipped with blackish. 

Locality. — Ofi Natal and Delagoa Bay, 174-275 fathoms. 

Types of gilchrisfi and maculata in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Specimens in the South African Museum combine the characters 
of both " species." It is possible that maculata may be the ?. 

This species closely allied to the Hawaiian C. prorigera Gilb. and the 
Indian C. luguhris Alck. 

Gen. Trichopsetta Gill. 

1888. Gill, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xi, p. 601. 

Eyes rather large, narrowly separated. Interorbital space a narrow 
ridge. Mouth moderate, teeth uniserial, more or less enlarged in 
front of jaws. Gill-membranes united. Gill-rakers slender. Dorsal 
originating on snout. Left ventral median, long-based, right with 
shorter base, with rays elongate in S. Pectorals unequal. Scales 
moderate, adherent, ctenoid. Lateral line on both sides strongly 
arched anteriorly. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 391 

'^'Trichojpsetta dalgleishi von B. 
Dalgleish's Flounder. 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Kep., i, p. 6, pi. i, fig. 1. 

Body elongate ovate. Depth 2|, length of head 4, in length of body. 
Eye 3| in length of head. D 95, A 73. Left pectoral 13, right 8, 
rays of the latter half length of those of former. Scales : 1.1. 70. 

Length. — Up to 110 mm. 

Colour. — Light grey with dark streaks, fins with irregularly scattered 
black blotches. 

Locality.— 'Neital coast, 29 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Gen. Arnoglossus Blkr. 

1862. Bleeker, C.R. Ac. Sci. Amsterdam, vol. xiii. 

1862. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iv, p. 415. 

Eyes moderately large, narrowly separated. Interorbital space a 
narrow concave groove, or reduced to a bony ridge only. Mouth 
small, teeth minute, in a single series. Gill-membranes united. Dorsal 
fin originating on snout. Left ventral median, long-based, right with 
shorter base. Scales moderate, deciduous, feebly ctenoid or cycloid. 
Lateral line on both sides strongly arched anteriorly. 

On account of the ease with which the scales rub off, these Flat-fish 
are known in England as Scaldfish. 

Arnoglossus capensis Blgr. 
Cape Scaldfish. 

1898. Boulenger, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. i, p. 1. 

1904. Gilchrist, ibid., vol. iii, p. 133, pi. v, fig. 36 (egg and larva). 

1916. Id., Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 16, fig. 12 (larva). 

1918. Thompson, ibid., vol. iv, p. 125. 

Body ovate. Depth 2 J, length of head 4|, in length of body. Eye 
3 J in length of head, and 3-4 times interorbital space which is concave. 
D 81-100, A 72-80. Left pectoral about f length of head. Scales 
feebly ctenoid : 1.1. 60-70. 

Length. — Up to 180 mm. 

Colour. — Light brown. 

Locality. — False Bay to East London, 20-60 fathoms. Occasionally 
found also on the west side of the Cape Peninsula (Hout Bay). 

Type in British Museum ; topotypes in South African Museum. 



392 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Gen. Laeops Gnthr. 

1880. Giinther, Challenger Eep., vol. i, p. 29. 

1890. Alcock, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (6), vol. vi, p. 216 {Scianectes). 

Eyes rather large, narrowly separated by the interorbital ridge. 
Mouth moderate or small. Teeth very fine, mostly on blind side. 
Gill-membranes united. Gill-rakers short. Dorsal originating in 
front of upper eye. Left ventral median, long-based, right with 
shorter base ; right pectoral somewhat shorter than left. Scales 
small, cycloid, deciduous. Lateral line on both sides arched in front. 

Indo-Pacific. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Dorsal and anal fins broadly margined with black . . nigromaculatus. 

2. Dorsal and anal fins unicolourous .... microphthalmus. 

^Laeops nigromaculatus von B. 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 10, pi. iii. 

1925. Id., Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 289. 

Body elongate ovate. Depth 2J, length of head 5-|, in length of 
body. Eye 3 in length of head, lower eye slightly in advance of 
upper. D 103 ; A 82 ; P 14, left 1|, right nearly 2, in length of 
head. Scales : 1.1. 102. 

Length. — Up to 170 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish-yellow with irregularly scattered small dark 
spots, caudal and outer half of dorsal, anal, and left ventral fins 
blackish. 

Locality. — Off Natal coast and Delagoa Bay, 100-160 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

The figure represents the left ventral and anal as continuous, 
which is presumably incorrect. 

"^Laeops niicrophthalmus von B. 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 11, pi. iv, 
fig. 1. 

Body elongate oval. Depth 2|, length of head 4|, in length of body. 
Eye 4i in length of head, lower slightly in advance of upper. D 99 ; 
A 80 ; P 14, left 2, right 3, in length of head. Scales : 1.1. ca. 110. 

Length. — Up to 135 mm. 

Colour. — Blackish. 

Locality.— Natal coast, 150 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 



PLATE XVII. 

PIG. TEXT-PAGE 

1. Psemdes enimei {Bl Solm.) {a,iteT Bay) 383 

2. Pseudorhombus russelli (Gray) (after Gilchrist) ..... 388 

3. Solea capensis Gilch. (after Gilchrist) . . . . . . . 402 



Ann.. S. Afr. Mus., Vol. XXI. 



Plate XVI ;. 




V V' 




w 






B; 
V 



1 







^^x ^-^\v .. 



















yeill d; Co., Krf. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 393 

Gen. Lambdopsetta Smith and Pope. 

1906. Smith and Pope, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxxi, p. 496. 

Eyes rather large, narrowly separated by the interorbital ridge. 
Mouth small, teeth fine, mostly on blind side. Gill-rakers small, 
triangular. Dorsal originating over anterior margin of upper eye, 
the first 2 rays separate. Left ventral median, long-based, right 
with shorter base. Pectorals more or less unequal. Scales moderate, 
cycloid. Lateral line on both sides, with an angular bend in front. 
Very close to Laeops Gnthr., but distinguished by the 2 separate 
anterior rays of dorsal and the more sharply angular arch of the 
lateral line. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Left pectoral shorter than head ....... kitaharae. 

2. Left pectoral nearly twice length of head . . . . pectoralis. 

"^Lambdopsetta kitaharae Smith and Pope. 
Kitahara's Flounder. 

1906. Smith and Pope, he. cit., p. 496, text-fig. 12. 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., i, p. 9. 

Body rather elongate ovate. Depth 2^-2|, length of head 5|-5f , 
in length. Eye 2^ in length of head, lower slightly in advance of upper. 
D 100-103; A 76; V 6; P 14, left pectoral about 1^ in head, 
slightly longer than right. Scales : 1.1. 100-102. 

Length. — Up to 135 mm. 

Colour. — Eeddish-yellow, left pectoral and vertical fins blackish or 
edged with blackish. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 180-230 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Japan. 

* Lambdopsetta pectoralis von B. 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., i, p. 10, pi. i, 
fig. 3. 

1925. Id., Tr. Eoy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 289. 

Eesembling kitaharae but D 113 ; A 91 ; P 12, the left pectoral 
much larger than right, nearly twice length of head, which is 6|- in 
length. 

Length. — Up to 190 mm. 

Colour. — Blackish. 



394 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Locality. — Ofi Natal coast and Delagoa Bay, 150-170 fathoms. 
Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

It seems worth investigating whether this form is not the adult male 
of kitaharae. 

Young Forms. 

Von Bonde records (1922, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 9) 
a young specimen from the Natal coast which he has provisionally 
identified as a species of Etropus J. and G. The special reasons for 
identifying this specimen with Etropus are not given. This genus is 
easily distinguished from all the other genera of Bothidae here recorded 
by the almost straight lateral line. 

Some other specimens in the South African Museum, which appear 
to be juveniles, are here identified with the following form. 

Platophrys circularis Regan. 

1908. Regan, Tr. Linn. Soc. Lond. Zool., vol. xii, pt. 3, p. 233, 
pi. xxvi, fig. 3. 

Body ovate in a specimen 23 mm. long, becoming nearly circular 
in larger specimens. Depth If (small) to li (larger specimens), head 
3f-4f in length. Eye about 6 in length of head, equal to in small, 
less than interorbital width in larger specimens. D 85-90 ; A 63-66 ; 
P 8, about 2^ in length of head. Scales all rubbed ofi. 

Length. — Up to 42 mm. 

Colour (as preserved). — Yellowish with a double series of 6-8 small 
spots along each margin of body, and another series on the dorsal 
and anal fins. 

Locality. — Algoa Bay to Natal, 22-47 fathoms. 

These specimens are not the young of Crossorhombus dimorphus, of 
which species there is a good series in the South African Museum. 
It is perhaps possible that P. circularis is only the young of the other 
species described by Regan in the same paper, viz. P. ovalis. 

Fam. 3. Pleuronectidae. 

Dextral. Dorsal fin extending forward above eye or on to snout, 
all the rays articulated. Ventrals with 6 or fewer rays. Mouth 
with lower jaw more or less prominent. No teeth on palatine. No 
supramaxilla. Preopercle with free edge. Olfactory laminae slightly 
raised, parallel, without axis. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 395 

Key to the South African genera. 

1. Dorsal originating above upper eye. 

a. Teetli mostly on blind side only ...... Limanda. 

b. Teeth well developed on both sides .... Poecikipsetta. 

2. Dorsal originating on snout, its anterior rays strongly produced . Samaris. 

Gen. Limanda Gottsche. 

1825. Gottsche. Wiegmann's Arch., p. 100. 

1880. Giintlier, Challenger Rep., vol. i, p. 57 (Nematops). 
1895. Goode and Bean, Oceanogr. Ichthyol., p. 427. 

Eyes narrowly separated. Mouth moderate. Teetli uniserial, 
mostly on blind side. Dorsal originating above upper eye. Left 
neutral median, or almost so. Scales moderate or small, ctenoid. 
Lateral line on both sides strongly arched anteriorly. 

These Flat-fish are termed Dabs in England. 

^Limanda beani Goode. 
Bean's Dab. 

1881. Goode, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. iii, p. 473. 
1895. Goode and Bean, loc. cit., p. 428, fig. 355a-d. 
1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 16. 

Body elongate ovate. Depth 2f-2§, length of head 44-5^, in length 
of body. Eye 2 (von Bonde) — 3 (Goode and Bean's figure) — in length 
of head. D 62-68, A 54-56, P 7. Scales : 1.1. 88-90, 27-30 of which 
are in the curve. 

Length.- — Up to 145 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish-brown with darker patches, pectoral and ventral 
blackish, dorsal and anal with irregular black streaks, caudal with a 
conspicuous black spot on the outer rays on either side. 

Locality. — Off Natal and Delagoa Bay, 180-230 fathoms. 

Distribution. — N. Atlantic and West Indies, 110-250 fathoms. 

Gen. PoECiLOPSETTA Gnthr. 

1880. Giinther, Challenger Rep., vol. i, p. 48. 

Eyes moderate, narrowly separate. Mouth moderate, teeth sharp, 
well-developed on both sides. Gill-membranes united. Dorsal 
originating above upper eye. Left ventral median, right nearly so. 
Scales small or very small ; ctenoid, deciduous. Lateral line on both 
sides strongly arched anteriorly. 

Indo-Pacific. 



396 Annals of the South African Museum. 

'^Poecilopsetta bicolorata von B. 
Blue-green Flounder. 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 14, pi. v, 
fig. 2. 

Body ovate. Depth, nearly 2, length of head 4, in length, of body. 
Eye 3-|- in length of head. D 57, 2nd-8th dorsal rays elongate in (J, 
twice as long as any of the other rays ; A 49 ; P 9. Right ventral 
with first 3 rays elongate in both sexes, equalling the longest dorsal 
rays. Scales : 1.1. 82, the arch being somewhat flat-topped. 

Length. — Up to 170 mm. 

Colour. — Bluish-black tinged with green, with indistinct cross- 
bands, all fins mottled with larger or smaller black spots, lower part 
and blind side of head spotted with black, branchiostegal membrane 
blue. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 70-222 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

Gen. Samaris Gray. 

1831. Gray, Zool. Misc., p. 4. 

1862. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iv, p. 419. 

Eyes moderate, narrowly separated. Mouth small, teeth small 
in narrow bands on both sides. Gill-membranes united. Gill- 
rakers rudimentary. Dorsal originating on snout, its anterior rays 
greatly prolonged. Ventrals symmetrical, right longer than left. 
Right pectoral long. Scales small, ctenoid. Lateral line on both 
sides nearly straight, bifurcate at anterior end behind upper eye. 
Nostril with a bifurcate tubular flap of skin. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. D 84, A 57. Pectoral mottled with white ..... ornatus. 

2. D 78, A 55. Pectoral mottled with black .... delagoensis. 

* Samaris ornatus von B. 
Crested Flounder. 
1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 13, pi. vi. 
Body elongate ovate. Depth 24, length of head 4^, in length. Eye 
3 in length of head. D 84, the anterior 14 rays elongate, the longest 
ones Ih in length of body ; A 57 ; P 4, right nearly as long as head ; 
V 5, right much longer than left, 1st ray elongate, a little longer than 
head. Scales : 1.1. 84. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 397 

Length. — Up to 103 mm. 

Colour. — Deep brown, with irregularly scattered black sj)ots ; 5 
larger blotches along dorsal, 4 along ventral profile, and 2 on lateral 
line ; dorsal, anal, and both ventrals blackish ; elongate rays of dorsal 
white towards tips ; pectoral and caudal with white spots. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 30 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

"^Samaris delagoensis von B. 

1925. Von Bonde, Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 289. 

Body elongate ovate. Depth 2|, length of head 5, in length of body. 
Eye 3f in length of head. D 78, the anterior 15 rays elongate, the 
longest 1 J in length of body ; A 55 ; P 4, right nearly as long as head ; 
V 5, right much longer than left, first 2 rays elongate, 1^ times length 
of head, ending in enlarged skinny flaps. Scales : 1.1. 94. 

Length. — Up to 170 mm. 

Colour. — Dark, with blotches of various sizes over body and fins, 
with blotches along dorsal and ventral profiles as in ornatus ; 3rd, 
5th, 6th, and 10th dorsal rays blackish at base ; ventrals very dark ; 
pectoral dark with black mottling. 

Locality. — Delagoa Bay. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

The slight differences which occur between these two forms seem 
to be no greater than might reasonably be expected within the limits 
of variation. Possibly the slight colour differences and the skinny 
flaps on the ventral fins are sexual. Both species are close to the 
Indo-Pacific cristatus Gray, but differ apparently in the larger number 
of scales. 

Fam. 4. Paralichthodiae. 

Dextral. Dorsal fin extending forward on to snout, all the rays 
articulated. Ventrals with 6 rays. Mouth wdth lower jaw prominent. 
No teeth on palatine. No supramaxilla. Preopercle with free edge. 
Olfactory laminae arranged transversely to or radiating from a central 
axis. 

A single South African genus. 

Gen. Paralichthodes Gilch. 

1902. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. ii, p. 108. 
1920. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 213. 



398 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Eyes moderate, moderately separated. Mouth rather large, teeth 
in 2-3 series on both sides. Gill-membranes separate. Gill-rakers 
well developed, minutely spinulose. Ventrals short-based, equal 
but somewhat unsymmetrical, the right nearly median. Scales 
small, cycloid. Lateral line on both sides, strongly arched anteriorly. 
A strong, but short, forwardly directed spine in front of anal fin. 

ParalicJitliodes algoensis Gilch. 

1902. Gilchrist, loc. cit., p. 108, pi. viii. 

1909. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. S.A. Mus., vol. vi, pt. 3, p. 262. 

1917. Id., Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, p. 397. 

1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Eep., vol. iv, p. 125 (references). 
1920. Eegan., loc. cit., p. 214. 

Body rather elongate ovate. Depth 2|-2§, length of head 4-4J, in 
length of body. Eye 4J-5J in length of head. Interorbital width 
2-2J in eye. D 67-74, the anterior rays much branched and the 
1st separate; A 47-54; P 11-12, right li-lf in length of head, left 
shorter. Scales : 1.1. 110-125. 

Length. — Up to 420 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish "^-ith small dark dots on head and anterior part 
of body. 

Locality. — Algoa Bay, East London, Xatal coast, 27-40 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 



Fam. 5. Soleidae. 

Dextral. Dorsal fin extending in advance of eye, all rays articu- 
lated. Left ventral sometimes vestigial or absent. Pectorals some- 
times absent. Caudal free or united with dorsal and anal. Mouth 
small, subterminal, or inferior, lower jaw never prominent ; teeth 
mostly on blind side only. No supramaxilla. Preopercle covered 
over by skin, without free margin. Olfactory laminae arranged 
transversely to or radiating from a central axis. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Dorsal and anal not confluent with caudal. 

A. Ventrals symmetrical ; pectorals present .... Solea. 

B. Ventrals asymmetrical, right joined to anal ; pectorals absent. 

1. Blind side with 1 lateral line ..... Achirus. 

2. Blind side with 2 lateral lines .... PardachiriLs. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 399 

II. Dorsal and anal confluent with caudal. 

A. Pectorals well developed. 

1. Lower lip fringed ; anterior nostril of blind side surrounded by a 

fringed flap. ...... Synajjtura. 

2. Lower lip not fringed ; anterior nostril of blind side simple 

Austroglo88US. 

B. Pectorals small or rudimentary ...... Aesopia. 



Gen. SoLEA Lacep. 

1802. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. iv. 

1817. Ciivier, Regne Anim. 

1862. Giinther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iv, p. 462 (part). 

Dorsal and anal fins not confluent with caudal, their rays scaly 
and sometimes bifid. Pectorals well developed. Ventrals equal, 
short-based, right not joined to anal. Vent median. Nostrils of 
blind side dilated or not. Scales small, ctenoid. Lateral line straight 
(as far as head), single on both sides. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Nostril of blind side not dilated (Solea). 

A. Snout truncate ....... senegalensis. 

B. Snout rounded. 

1. Body with irregular dark blotches . . fulvomarginatus. 

2. Body with 5 black spots ..... quadriocellata. 
II. Nostril of blind side very slightly dilated, not fringed, but surrounded by a 

bare space. Dorsal and anal fins margined with black melanoptera. 

III. Nostril of blind side dilated (subgen. Pegusa). 

A. Nostril surrounded by a bare space ..... capensis. 

B. Nostril not surrounded by a bare space . . . . bleekeri. 

Solea senegalensis Kaup. 
Senegal Sole. 

1858. Kaup, Wiegm. Archiv., p. 94. 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 160, pi. xHv 
{cleverleyi) . 

1914. Pellegrin, Ann. Inst. Oceanogr., vol. vi, pt. 4, pp. 74, 75, pi. i, 
fig. 1 (var. mhaoensis). 

1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iv, p. 126 {cleverleyi). 

Body narrow ovate. Depth 3-3i, length of head 4|-5|, in length of 
body. Eye 4|-5^ in length of head, upper in advance of lower by 
about h diameter, about 2 times the interorbital width. D 82-84 ; 



400 Annals of the South African Museum. 

A 67-70 ; P 8-10 {cleverleyi has 9), right a little longer than left, 
l§-2 in length of head. Ventrals less than ^ pectorals, equal and 
symmetrical. Snout truncate. Left nostril not dilated or fringed or 
surrounded by a naked space. Opercular margins feebly fringed, 
lips not at all. Scales : 1.1. 115-120. Lateral line straight to head, 
then bending backwards and upwards, and then again sharply for- 
wards ; on the blind side there is an additional short branch running 
from the lower bend towards the origin of the dorsal. 

Length. — Up to 262 mm. 

Colour. — Chocolate or slaty-brown, more or less speckled, distal 
half of right pectoral black. 

Locality. — Walfish Bay, S.W. Africa. 

Distribution. — Senegal. 

Types of senegalensis and var. mhaoensis in Paris Museum ; of 
cleverleyi in South African Museum. 

S. cleverleyi is clearly the same as senegalensis and resembles more 
nearly the variety mhaoensis. The differences in depth of body, 
length of pectoral, and size of eye may prove to be sexual. 

It is interesting to find the Senegal Sole extending as far south as 
Walfish Bay ; another example of the southward extension of the 
West African fauna being Ophichthys rostellatus (p. 202). 

Solea fulvomarginata Gilch. 
Yellow-margined Sole. 

1904. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 13, pi. xxxiii. 

1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iv, p. 126. 

Body ovate. Depth 2j-2f , length of head 4§-5, in length of body. 
Eye 6-7 in length of head, upper in advance of lower by about h 
diameter, 1-| times the interorbital width. D 75-80, A 60-65. Pec- 
torals about equal, 4 in length of head. Ventrals as long as pectorals, 
equal and symmetrical. Snout broadly rounded, moderately hooked. 
Left nostril not dilated or fringed or surrounded by a naked space. 
Opercular margin on both sides fringed, lips not fringed. Scales : 
1.1. 105-110. Lateral line straight ; on blind side it continues straight 
to middle of head and bifurcates, the lower branch running straight 
on, the upper branching off at right-angles and curving round to base 
of anterior dorsal rays, sometimes a third branch below running to 
angle of mouth. 

Length. — Up to 250 mm. 

Colour. — Lemon yellow, most marked on the fin margins, body with 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 401 

cloudy dark patches, extending more or less on to bases of dorsal and 
anal ; blind side of fins, and to a certain extent the body also, lemon 
yellow. 

Locality. — False Bay and Algoa Bay, shallow water. 

Type in South African Museum. 

*Solea quadriocellata von B. 
Ocellate Sole. 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 20, pi. ii, 
fig. 2. 

Body ovate. Depth 2, length of head 41, in length of body^ Eye 4 
in length of head, upper in advance of lower by about half diameter, 
about 1^ times the interorbital width. D 62 ; A 48 ; P 7, right 2|- in 
length of head, twice as long as left. Ventrals equal and symmetrical. 
Snout narrowly rounded. Left nostril not dilated or fringed. Oper- 
cular margins feebly fringed, lips not at all. Scales : 1.1. 100. Lateral 
line anteriorly curved at right angles towards dorsal margin. 

Length. — 108 mm. 

Colour. — Slate ; dorsal, anal, and caudal fins darker ; some faint 
darker blotches on anterior part of body, and a large well-marked 
black spot on the lateral line a short distance behind the end of the 
pectoral ; on posterior part of body 2 pairs of round ocellate spots, 
black edged with white, a black cross-band on caudal peduncle. 

Locality. — -Natal coast, 30 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

This species is extraordinarily like ocellata (Linn.) from the Medi- 
terranean and Madeira. The only real difference appears to be the 
greater number of scales in the lateral line in the South African species ; 
the slight differences in number of fin rays are unimportant. 

Solea melanoptera (Gilch.). 
Black-finned Sole. 

1904. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 13, pi. xxxii 
(Synaptura m.). 

1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iv, p. 127. 

Body lanceolate. Depth 3 or a little less, length of head 4|-4^ in 
length. Eye 4|-5 in length of head, upper in advance of lower by 
about half diameter, about 3 times the interorbital width. D 89-92, 
A 70-72. Pectorals equal, 3^ in length of head. Ventrals as long as 

VOL. XXI, PART 1. 26 



402 Aiinals of the South African Museum. 

pectoral, equal and symmetrical. Snout rounded, hooked. Left 
nostril tubular, slightly dilated and fringed, surrounded by a bare 
space. Opercular margin on both sides fringed, right upper lip 
slightly so. Scales : 1.1. ca. 130. Lateral line straight as far as head, 
then bending up sharply towards the dorsal margin where it ends at 
a level about the middle of upper eye. 

Length. — Up to 190 mm. 

Colour.- — Light brown, with darker patches ; dorsal, anal, and right 
pectoral blackish, the latter fin with a white margin. 

Locality.— 'East London and Natal, 22-43 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

A second and larger specimen in the South African Museum allows 
me to correct some slight inaccuracies in the original description. 
The dorsal and anal fins are not really confluent with the caudal at 
all, and the species is a true Solea. 

Solea capensis Gilch. 
Cape Sole. 

1902. Gilchrist, Mar. Livest. S. Afr., vol. ii, p. 110, pi. ix. 

1916. Id., Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 17, fig. 14 {larva). 

1918. Thompson, ibid., vol. iv, p. 126. 

Body ovate. Depth 2|-2|, length of head 4:h-5j, in length of body. 
Eye 4-|— 5 in length of head, upper in advance of lower by about half 
diameter, 1| times the interorbital width. D 75-90, A 63-72. Right 
pectoral a little longer than left, 2|-3 in length of head. Ventrals 
shorter than pectoral, equal and symmetrical. Snout rounded, 
hooked. Left nostril dilated, fringed, and surrounded by a naked 
space. Opercular margin fringed on both sides, lips not fringed. 
Scales : 1.1. 110-115. Lateral line straight, curving sharply up 
towards dorsal profile on head, but indistinct especially on blind side. 
(Plate XVII, fig. 3.) 

Length. — Up to 345 mm. 

Colour. — Brownish, shaded and mottled with greenish or darker 
brown, with irregular dark lines, spots, and ocelli ; right pectoral dark 
with whitish margin. 

Locality. — False Bay, Agulhas Bank, Algoa Bay, Natal coast, 
shallow water. 

Type in South African Museum. 

Although here called the Cape Sole, this is not a very abundant 
species and is not economically important. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 403 

Solea bleekeri Bigr. 
BleeJcer's Sole. 

1863. Bleeker, Versl. Ak. Vet. Amsterdam, vol. xv, p. 458 {impar 
Don Benn.). 

1898. Boulenger, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. i, p. 2 {bleekeri). 

1904. Gilchrist, ibid., vol. iii, p. 10, pi. xxviii {turbynei). 

1909. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. S.A. Mus., vol. vi, pt. 3, p. 261 
{turbynei). 

1916. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 3, p. 170 {bleekeri). 

1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iv, pp. 125, 126 {bleekeri and 
turbynei). 

1920. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 215 {turbynei). 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, pp. 17, 18 
{turbynei and impar). 

1922. Id., ibid., p. 19, pi. v, fig. 1 {simonensis) . 

1925. Id., Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 291 {turbynei). 

Body ovate. Depth 2j-2f , length of head 4-4§, in length of body. 
Eye 5-|— 7 in length of head, equal to or a little less than interorbital 
width. D 62-74 ; A 50-59 (young specimens may have D 60, A 45) ; 
P 7-8, right a little longer than left, 21^-3 in length of head. Veu- 
trals shorter than pectoral, equal and symmetrical. Snout rounded, 
hooked. Left nostril dilated, but not fringed or surrounded by a 
naked space. Opercular margin fringed on both sides, but the lips 
only feebly or not at all. Scales : 1.1. 95-105. Lateral line straight 
to head, then bending at right angles towards dorsal profile, and then 
running forwards parallel with profile. 

Length. — Up to 174 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, with darker spots and specks on body and darker 
streaks on dorsal and anal fins ; right pectoral with a black spot on 
distal half (rarely absent). 

Locality. — False Bay, Agidhas Bank to Zululand and Delagoa Bay, 
down to 30 fathoms. 

Types of bleekeri in Leyden Museum, of turbynei in South African 
Museum, of simonensis in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

In vindication of the above specific name, the history of this species 
may be briefly stated. 

Bleeker identified a specimen from the Cape of Good Hope with the 
Mediterranean species impar, the type of which is in the British 
Museum. 



404 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Boulenger recognised the incorrectness of Bleeker's identification 
and renamed Bleeker's specimen. 

In direct opposition to this, von Bonde identifies bleekeri with 
Bennett's impar and doubts the correctness of the locality given by 
Bleeker. The first procedure is not justified in view of Boulenger's 
statement (with Bennett's type before him) that Bleeker's specimen 
is not impar ; and the latter assumption involves the specific dis- 
tinctness of turhynei from both impar and bleekeri. 

As regards the specific distinctness of turhynei, I have examined 
a large series of all sizes in the South African Museum and from these 
I have drawn up the above description. The characters of both 
turhynei and hleekeri fall within this description, and the diflerences 
quoted by von Bonde {loc. cit., 1922, p. 19) do not hold good. They 
are largely only variations due to age. Thus the largest specimens 
(like Bleeker's) have the largest number of fin-rays. 

I submit, therefore, that the correct name of this Sole is hleekeri. 
The only possible alternative is that it is really synonymous with 
Bennett's impar ; but in deference to Boulenger's opinion I do not 
adopt it. 

S. simonensis is an abnormally deep specimen of hleekeri. There is 
an intermediate specimen in the South African Museum. The black 
spot on the pectoral is sometimes absent, and the upper branch of 
the lateral line very indistinct, in otherwise perfectly typical specimens 
of bleekeri. 

Gen. AcHiRUS Lacep. 

1802. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. iv, p. 659. 

1913. Weber, Siboga Exp. Fische. Monogr., Ixv, p. 416 (dis- 
cussion). 

Dorsal and anal fins not confluent with caudal, their rays simple ; 
pectorals rudimentary; ventrals unsymmetrical, right joined to 
anal. Vent displaced on to left side. Anterior nostril of blind side 
dilated and fringed. Scales small, ctenoid. Lateral line straight, 
single on both sides. Gill-rakers absent. 

Achirus capensis (Kaup). 

1898. Boulenger, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. i, p. 2. 

1903. Gilchrist, ibid., vol. ii, p. 191, pi. i, fig. 16 (egg). 

1916. Id., Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 17, fig. 13 (egg and larva). 

1918. Thompson, ibid., vol. iv, p. 126. 

Body ovate. Depth 2J-2-|, length of head 4, in length of body. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 405 

Eye 5-|— 6 in length of head. Snout hooked. Snout and lips with 
short fringes. D 98-102, A 67-75. Scales : 1.1. 80-85. 

Length. — Up to 145 mm. 

Colour. — Pale greyish or brownish, with dark specks and 3 more 
or less conspicuous longitudinal series of small black spots. 

Locality. — Saldanha Bay, False Bay to East London, shallow 
water. 

Gen. Pardachirus Gnthr. 

1862. Gunther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iv, p. 478. 

1913. Weber, Siboga Exp. Fische. Monogr., Ixv, p. 416 (dis- 
cussion). 

Dorsal and anal fins not confluent with caudal, their rays 
scaly and branched ; pectorals absent ; ventrals unsymmetrical, 
right joined to anal. Vent displaced on to left side. Scales small, 
cycloid, or weakly ctenoid. Lateral line straight, single on right, a 
second line along upper profile of neck on left side. Gill-rakers 
rudimentary. 

'^Pardachirus marmoratus (Lacep.). 

1802. Lacepede, Hist. Nat. Poiss., vol. iv, p. 658. 
1826. Kiippell, Atlas Fische, p. 122, pi. xxxi, fig. 2. 
1862. Giinther, loc. cit., p. 478. 

1891. Sauvage, Hist. Nat. Madagascar, vol. xvi, Poiss., p. 472. 
1925. Von Bonde, Tr. Roy. Soc S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 291. 
Body ovate. Depth 2i-2§. D 67, A 53. Scales : 1.1. 100. 
Length. — Up to 260 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish-olive, with numerous brown dots on head, body, 
and fins, and with or without white ocellate spots. 
Locality. — Bazaruto Island, Portuguese East Africa. 
Distribution. — E. coast of Africa, Madagascar. 

Gen. Synaptura Cantor. 

1849. Cantor, Cat. Malay. Fish., p. 222. 

Dorsal and anal fins confluent with caudal ; pectorals well de- 
veloped. Lower lip fringed. Anterior right nostril at end of a tube, 
posterior covered by a flap ; anterior left nostril surrounded by a 
fringed flap, much developed behind and covering a naked groove. 
Scales small, ctenoid on right, cycloid (or feebly ctenoid) on left. 
Lateral line straight on both sides, with a right-angled bend anteriorly 
towards dorsal profile. Ventrals small, equal, and symmetrical. 
Gill-rakers rudimentary. 



406 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Synaptura marginata Blgr. 
White-margined Sole. 

1881. Steindaclmer, Iclithyol. Beitr., vol. x, S.B. Ak. Wiss. Wien, 
vol. Ixxxiii, p. 207 {'punctatissima non Peters). 

1900. Boulenger, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. i, p. 11, pis. ii and iii, 
fig. 1 {?). 

1904. Gilchrist, ibid., vol. iii, p. 14, pi. xxxiv {^) {ciliata). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 398 (references : marginata and ciliata). 

1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iv, p. 127. 
1920. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 216. 

Body lanceolate. Depth 2j-2§, length of head 5, in length of body. 
Eye 8-9 in length of head, equal to interorbital width. Opercular 
margins fringed. D 71-76; A 54 (?) to 63 {$), the anterior rays fringed 
on left side in (J. Pectorals equal, 3-|-4 in length of head. Scales 
strongly ctenoid on right side, and in ^ some of them bearing short 
filamentous processes which are most numerous on the head : 1.1. 
100-124. 

Length.- — Up to 340 mm. 

Colour. — Dark brown, uniform or with darker specks ; dorsal and 
anal speckled with dark spots and edged with white, right pectoral 
blackish with a white edge. 

Locality. — Algoa Bay to Natal, shallow water. 

TjTpe of marginata in British Museum, of ciliata in South African 
Museum. 

I have examined several specimens and find that the filamentous 
processes on the head and body are only present in the (J. 

It seems more than probable that Steindachner was in error in 
assigning his Algoa Bay specimen to punctatissima Peters, which is 
found along the coasts of Mauretania (not " Mauritius " as quoted by 
Thompson, loc. cit., p. 127), Guinea, and Gaboon. S. punctatissima 
is considerably narrower in proportion to its length and has a larger 
number of scales, though the coloration is very similar. 

Gen. AusTROGLOSsus Regan. 

1920. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 217. 

Dorsal and anal fins confluent Tvdth caudal ; pectorals well de- 
veloped. Lower lip not fringed. Anterior right nostril tubular, 
posterior patent, between eyes ; anterior left nostril shortly tubular. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 407 

without surrounding flap. Scales very small, ctenoid. Lateral 
line straight on both sides. Ventrals small, equal, and symmetrical. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Right pectoral longer than head ....... pectoralis. 

2 Right pectoral shorter than head ...... microlepis. 



Austroglossus pectoralis (Kaup). 
Sole ; Tong. 

1858. Kaup, Archiv. f. Natur., p. 96. 

1903. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. ii, p. 193 (egg). 

1916. Id., Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 16 (egg and larva). 

1918. Thompson, ihid., vol. iv, p. 127 (references). 

1920. Regan, loc. cit., p. 217, text-fig. 4. 

Body lanceolate. Depth 3|— 3f , length of head 5|-7, in length of 
body. Eyes 6-9 in length of head, upper on a level with or very 
slightly in advance of lower, nearly equal to interorbital width. 
D 95-110, A 80-95. Right pectoral lj-2 times as long as head and 
about 3 times as long as left pectoral. Scales only feebly ctenoid on 
the blind side : 1.1. 150-170. 

Length. — Up to 580 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, more or less speckled with darker ; dorsal and anal 
spotted and speckled with dark brown or black, right pectoral black ; 
sometimes some indistinct light transverse bands across body. 

Locality. — False Bay, Agulhas Bank to Natal, down to 60 fathoms. 

Two sinistral specimens in the South African Museum. 

Economically this is the most important of the South African 
Flat-fishes. 

Austroglossus microlepis (Blkr.). 

Small-scaled Sole. 

1863. Bleeker, Versl. Ak. Vet. Amsterdam, vol. xv, p. 456. 

1916. Gilchrist, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iii, p. 16 (egg). 

1918. Thompson, ihid., vol. iv, p. 127 (references). 

Body lanceolate. Depth 3-3§, length of head 5-6, in length of 
body. Eye 7-8 in length of head, upper in advance of lower, | inter- 
orbital width. D 82-100, A 65-78. Right pectoral ^-| length of 
head, about 1^ times length of left. Scales only feebly ctenoid on 
blind side : 1.1. 170-180. 



408 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Length. — Up to 750 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, speckled with darker, with or without indistinct 
dark or light transverse cross-bands on body ; dorsal and anal spotted 
and speckled with dark brown or black. 

Locality. — Walfish Bay to Table Bay. 

Type in Leyden Museum. 

This is also an abundant and important sole, but is only found on 
the west coast. It is the largest of the South African soles : a speci- 
men in the South African Museum measures 750 mm. in length and 
weighs 9 lb. 

Gen. Aesopia Kaup. 

1858. Kaup, Wiegmann's Archiv. Natur., p. 95. 

1862. Gunther, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus., vol. iv, p. 487. 

1900. Jordan and Starks, Proc. U.S. Nat, Mus., vol. xxiii, p. 380 
{Zehrias). 

1906. Id., ibid., vol. xxxi, pp. 232, 235 [Zehrias and Aesopia). 

1920. Eegan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 218 {Zehrias and 
Aesopia). 

Dorsal and anal fins confluent with caudal (or almost so) ; pectorals 
small, especially the left or rudimentary. Opercular membrane 
joined to upper margin of pectoral. Lips not fringed. Anterior right 
nostril shortly tubular, posterior in front of lower eye ; nostrils of 
left side inconspicuous. Eyes contiguous. Scales ctenoid or cycloid. 
Lateral line straight on both sides to head. Ventrals equal and 
symmetrical. Gill-rakers rudimentary. 

Jordan and Starks (1906) are of opinion that cornuta should form 
the type of a new genus, as it was not originally included in Kaup's 
genus Aesopia. All the species are closely allied, and two separate 
genera seem to be quite unnecessary. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Scales ctenoid. Cross-bands in pairs {Zehrias) .... regani. 

2. Scales cycloid. First dorsal ray free, swollen, papillose. Cross-bands 

single [Aesopia) ......... cornuta. 

Aesopia reyani (Gilch.). 

Regan's Double-banded Sole. 

1902. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. i, p. 144 (zebra non Bloch). 
1906. Id., ibid., vol. iv, p. 160, pi. xlv {Synaptura r.). 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 409 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 398. 

1920. Eegan, loc. cit., p. 218. 

Body ovate. Depth 2|^-2|, length of head 5-|-, in length of body. 
Eye 4J-5 in length of head, upper J-^ diameter in advance of lower. 
D 65-70, A 56-60. Eight pectoral about equal to eye, left shorter. 
Scales ctenoid on both sides : 1.1. 82-88. 

Length. — Up to 140 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish, with 13 dark cross-bands across body and head, 
extending on to dorsal and anal fins, each band composed of a pair of 
narrow bands ; caudal blackish, with white spots. 

Locality. — Natal coast, shallow water. 

Type in South African Museum. 

Aesopia cornuta Kaup. 
Horned or Single-handed Sole. 

1858. Kaup, loc. cit., p. 95. 

1877-87. Day, Fish. India, p. 430, pi. xciv, fig. 4. 

1906. Jordan and Starks, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxxi, p. 235, 
fig. 27. 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 161. 

1920. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 218. 

1925. Von Bonde, Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 291. 

Body ovate. Depth 2f-3, length of head 4|-5^, in length of body. 
Eye 4|-5^ in length of head, upper very slightly in advance of lower. 
D 69-79, A 61-66. First ray of dorsal free, swollen, longer than the 
other rays, papillose. Pectorals of both sides rudimentary. Scales 
cycloid on both sides : 1.1. 90-100. 

Length. — Up to 150 mm. 

Colour. — Grejdsh, with 15-16 dark single cross-bands across head 
and body, and extending on to dorsal and anal fins ; caudal dark, with 
round white spots. 

Locality. — Natal to Delagoa Bay, shallow water. 

Distribution. — Indian Seas to Japan. 

Fam. 6. Cynoglossidae. 

Sinistral. Dorsal fin extending in advance of eye, all rays artici;- 
lated ; right ventral sometimes absent, left sometimes united with 
anal ; pectorals absent ; dorsal and anal confluent with caudal. 



410 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Mouth ratlier small, inferior or subterminal. No supramaxilla. 
Preopercle covered over with skin, without free margin. Olfactory 
laminae arranged transversely to or radiating from a central axis. 
Eyes small. Lateral line single, multiple, or absent. 

Key to the South African genera. 

I. Lateral line present on one or both sides. 

A. Lips fringed ........ Paraplagusia. 

B. Lips not fringed. 

L Two lateral lines on left, one or none on right side . Cynoglossus. 

2. Two lateral lines on both sides ..... Arelia. 

3. Three lateral lines on left side. 

a. Two nostrils on left side ... . Areliscus. 

b. A single nostril on left side ..... Trulla. 
II. Lateral line absent ........ SymjpJiurus. 



Gen. Paraplagusia Blkr. 

1817. Cuvier, Regue Anim., vol. ii, p. 224 {Plagusia nom. preocc). 

1866. Bleeker, Atlas Ichthyol., vol. vi, p. 26 {Paraplagusia). 

Lips fringed. Left ventral only present, more or less completely 
united with anal. Scales ctenoid. Two lateral lines on left, one or 
none on right side. Mouth inferior. 

Paraplagusia marmorata (Blkr.). 

? 1828. Rtippell, Atlas Fische., p. 123, pi. xxxi, fig. 3 [dipterygia). 

1852. Bleeker, Verh. Bat. Gen., vol. xxiv, p. 20. 

1866. Id., Atlas Ichthyol., vol. vi, p. 28, pi. ccxlvi, fig. 5. 

1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 431, pi. xcv, fig. 1. 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 163, pi. xlvii (var. 
africana) . 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 399. 

1919. Regan, ibid., vol. ii, pt. 4, p. 203, text-fig. 6 {rohinsoni). 

1920. Id., ibid., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 219. 

Depth 3i— 4, length of head 4-4|, in length of body. Eye equal to, 
or a little greater than, interorbital width, upper in advance of lower. 
D 99-110, A 75-86. Scales ctenoid on both sides : 1.1. 100-110 ; 
the two lines on left side separated by 16-19 series of scales, no 
distinct line on right side. 

Length. — Up to 250 mm. 

Colour. — Brown or greyish, marbled or spotted with darker. 



A Monograjph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 411 

Locality. — Natal and Zululand coast, shallow water. 

Distribution. — East coast of Africa, Indian seas, and East Indies 
to China. 

Types of rohinsoni in British Museum, of var. africana in South 
African Museum. 

From an examination of specimens in the South African Museum 
it appears that those individuals with more pointed snouts [rohinsoni) 
are females, whereas the round-snouted ones are males. 

Gen. Cynoglossus Ham. Buch. 

1822. Hamilton-Buchanan, Fish. Ganges, p. 32. 

Lips not fringed. Left ventral only present, more or less completely 
united with anal. Scales ctenoid. Two lateral lines on left; 2, 1, 
or none on right side. Two nostrils on left side, the lower one tubular. 
Mouth inferior. 

The original genus Cynoglossus has been divided up into a number 
of separate genera or subgenera, a course which certainly has much to 
commend it from the point of view of convenience. But if carried 
too far, it may lead to complications and an undue number of mono- 
typic genera. Moreover, the number of lateral lines, which is the 
main character used in this splitting up of the genera, is not always a 
constant one (see remarks on Austerruptus by Jordan and Starks, 
Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxxi, p. 240, 1906). 

Some of the species are estuarine, or even enter quite fresh water 
in rivers. 

Key to the South African species. 

I. Scales ctenoid on both sides. 

A. Eyes separated. 

1. Angle of mouth nearer gill-opening than snout . . lida. 

2. Angle of mouth nearer snout than gill-opening . durbanensis. 

B. Eyes contiguous ....... gilchristi. 

II. Scales cycloid on right side ........ hunter i. 

•'"^Cynoglossus lida (Blkr.). 

1852. Bleeker, Verb. Bat. Gen., vol. xxiv, Pleuron., p. 23. 
1866. Id., Atlas Ichthyol., vol. vi, p. 36, pi. xii, fig. 2. 
1878-88. Day, Fish. India, p. 436, pi. xcvii, fig. 3. 
1920. Eegan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 221, text-fig. 5. 
Depth 4-4|, length of head 4^-5, in length of body. Eyes separate, 
interorbital space less than eye, which is about 10 in length of head. 



412 Annals of the South African Museum. 

One nostril between eyes, the other tubular, in front of lower eye. 
Angle of mouth below posterior margin of lower eye, nearer gill- 
opening than end of snout, which is 2^ in length of head. D 99- 
110, A 75-86. Scales ctenoid on both sides : 1.1. 85-90 ; 13-14 scales 
between the 2 lateral lines. Lateral line on right side more or less 
distinct. 

Length. — Up to 180 mm. 

Colour. — Greyish or brownish, with a dark opercular mark. 

Locality. — Natal coast. 

Distribution. — Indian seas and East Indies. 



Cynoglossus durbanensis Regan. 

1921. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. iii, pt. 1, p. 2. 

Depth 3j-3f, length of head 5^-5f, in length of body. Eyes 
separate, interorbital width less than eye, which is 9-10 in length of 
head. One nostril between eyes, the other tubular, in front of lower 
eye. Angle of mouth below middle of lower eye, nearer end of snout 
than gill-opening. Snout 3 in length of head. D 101-105, A 80-84. 
Scales ctenoid on both sides : 1.1. ca. 115 ; 18-20 scales between the 
2 lateral lines. No lateral line on right side. 

Length. — Up to 195 mm. 

Colour. — Gre}dsh, with more or less distinct darker blotches or 
irregular cross-bands, and numerous small dots over head, body, and 
fins. 

Locality. — Natal to Delagoa Bay. 

Type in British Museum. 

Cynoglossus gilchristi Regan. 

1903. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 12, pi. xxx {brachy- 
cephalus nom. preocc. Bleeker). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. DurbanMus., vol. i, pt.4,p.399. 
1920. Regan, ibid., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 222 {gilchristi nom nov.). 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 25 {brachy- 
cephalus). 

1925. Id., Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 294. 

Depth 4-4i, length of head 5J-5|, in length of body. Eyes con- 
tiguous, 6-&i in length of head. One nostril in the angle between 
the eyes, the other tubular, in front of lower eye. Angle of mouth 
below middle of lower eye, nearer end of snout than gill-opening. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 413 

D 105-110, A 82-84. Scales ctenoid on both sides : 1.1. 76-80 ; 14 
scales between the 2 lateral lines. No lateral line on right side. 

Length. — Up to 155 mm. 

Colour. — Light brown, with darker mottling and speckles ; dorsal 
and anal light, with dark streaks (mostly in pairs) or blotches ; caudal 
with dark central blotch. 

Locality. — Natal to Delagoa Bay, 4-30 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 

*Cynoglossus hunteri von B. 

1925. Von Bonde, Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 293. 

Depth 4ih, length of head 5, in length of body. Eyes separate, 8 
in length of head. One nostril between eyes, the other tubular, in 
front of lower eye. Angle of mouth below posterior border of lower 
eye. Snout about equal to postorbital length. D 130, A 98. Scales 
ctenoid on left, cycloid on right : 1.1. 97. Number of scales between 
the 2 lateral lines (?). A single lateral line on right side. 

Length.- — 78 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform brown, operculum darker. 

Locality. — Delagoa Bay, 3 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

As von Bonde remarks, this form is very close to the Indian C. 
lingua Ham. Buch., differing only in the greater proportional depth 
of the body. The specimen, however, is a young one, and further 
investigation may show that it is really referable to lingua. 

Gen. Arelia Kaup. 

1858. Kaup, "Wiegmann's Archiv. Natur., p. 106. 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., i, p. 23 {Cyno- 
glossoides). 

Lips not fringed. Left ventral only present, more or less confluent 
with anal. Scales mostly ctenoid. Two lateral lines on both sides. 
Two nostrils on left side, the lower one tubular. Mouth inferior. 

Arelia attenuata (Gilch.). 

1903. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iii, p. 11, pi. xxix. 
1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i,pt. 4, p, 398. 
1920. Regan, ihid., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 221. 
1925. Von Bonde, Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 292. 



414: Annals of the South African Museum. 

Depth 4-4|, length of head 4f-5, in length of body. Eye about 10 
in length of head and about double the interorbital width. One 
nostril between eyes, the other shortly tubular, in front of lower eye. 
Angle of mouth below posterior border of lower eye, nearer gill- 
opening than snout, which is f length of head. D 100-118, A 88-95. 
Scales ctenoid on left, cycloid on right : 1.1. 84-88 ; 12 scales between 
the 2 lateral lines. 

Length. — Up to 290 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform brown. 

Locality. — Northern Natal and Zululand coast to Delagoa Bay, 
3-26 fathoms. 

Type in South African Museum. 



Gen. Areliscus J. and S. 

1900. Jordan and Snyder, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxiii, p. 380. 

1906. Jordan and Starks, ihid., vol. xxxi, p. 240. 

Lips not fringed. Left ventral only present, more or less confluent 
with anal. Scales mostly ctenoid. Three lateral lines on left side, 
the lowest one frequently discontinuous, or even absent in the young. 
Two nostrils on left side, the lower one tubular. Mouth inferior. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Angle of mouth nearer gill- opening than end of snout . . . marleyi. 

2. Angle of mouth nearer end of snout than gill- opening . . ecaudatus. 

Areliscus marleyi (Regan). 

1921. Regan, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9), vol. vii, p. 418. 

1925. Von Bonde, Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 292. 

Depth 4, length of head 5|-5^, in length of body. Eye 9-10 in 
length of head, twice the interorbital width. One nostril between the 
eyes, the other tubular, in front of lower eye. Angle of mouth below 
posterior margin of lower eye, considerably nearer gill-opening than 
end of snout, which is rather pointed, 2J in length of head. D 130, 
A 105-110. Scales ctenoid on both sides : 1.1. ca. 130 ; 20 scales 
between upper and middle, 26 between middle and lower lateral lines. 
No lateral line on right side. 

Length. — Up to 340 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform brown, caudal and outer margin of dorsal and 
anal fins blackish. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 415 

Locality. — Natal and Zululand coasts to Delagoa Bay, 63-130 
fathoms. 

Type in British Museum ; topotype in South African Museum. 

Eegan says " apparently only one nostril," but in the specimens 
I have examined there are distinctly two, and this species should, 
therefore, not be included in the genus Trulla. 

Areliscus ecaudatus (Gilch.). 

1906. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. iv, p. 162, pi. xlvi {Cyno- 
glossus acaudatus). 

1917. Gilchrist and Thompson, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. i, pt. 4, 
p. 398. 

1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iv, p. 128. 

1920. Regan, Ann. Durban Mus., vol. ii, pt. 5, p. 222 {C. ecaudatus). 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 23, pi. iv, 
fig, 2 [natalensis) . 

Depth 3-3|-, length of head 44, in length of body. Eyes contiguous, 
7-7-| in length of head. One nostril in angle between eyes, the other 
tubular, in front of lower eye. Angle of mouth below middle of lower 
eye, nearer end of snout than gill-opening. D 102-106, A 85-86. 
Scales ctenoid on both sides : 1.1. 63-67 ; 10 scales between the 2 
lateral lines, the upper one of which extends only half-way along 
body. No lateral line on right side. 

Length.- — Up to 140 mm. 

Colour. — Brown, with more or less distinct dark cross-bands, 
fins darker and slightly mottled. 

Locality. — Natal and Zululand coast, 26-30 fathoms. 

Type of ecaudatus in South African Museum ; of natalensis in coll. 
Govt. Marine Survey. 

Closely allied to the Japanese interrwptus Gnthr., but with a rather 
longer head. 

The type specimen has distinct traces of the 3rd lateral line across 
operculum and abdominal region. 

In Gilchrist's original description the locality given for the reference 
number 11765 is " Cape Point, 480-600 fathoms." This is wrong. 
The locality should be " Off Tugela River." 

Gen. Trulla Kaup. 

1858. Kaup, Wiegmann's Archiv. Natur., p. 106. 

Lips not fringed. Left ventral only present, more or less confluent 



416 An72als of the South African Museum. 

with anal. Scales ctenoid on left, mostly cycloid on right side. Three 
lateral lines on left side ; none on right side. A single nostril on left 
side, situate in front of lower eye. Mouth inferior. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Eyes very close together, 6-7 in head ; caudal blackish . . . capensis. 

2. Eyes separate, 85— 10 in head ; caudal light . . . microphthalmus. 

Trulla capensis Kaup. 

1853. Pappe, Synops. Edible Fish. Cape, p. 32 {Solea vulgaris non 
Quensel). 

1858. Kaup, he. cit., p. 109. 

1898. Boulenger, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. i, p. 4. 

1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iv, p. 128 (references). 

1925. Von Bonde, Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 292. 

Depth 3j-3i, length of head 5-5|, in length of body. Eyes quite 
close together, or even contiguous, 6-7 or 8 in length of head. Angle 
of mouth below middle of lower eye, nearer end of snout than gill- 
opening. D 115-130, A 97-110. Scales ctenoid on left, mostly 
cycloid on the right side, but frequently weakly ctenoid, especially 
on the posterior half of body : 1.1. ca. 100-118. 

Length. — Up to 400 mm. 

Colour.— -Blown, more or less mottled, especially in young ; dorsal 
and anal fins speckled and spotted in adult, with bright red round 
spots ; caudal blackish. 

Locality. — Saldanha Bay to Table Bay, False Bay, Agulhas Bank 
to Algoa Bay, 10-60 fathoms. Also Delagoa Bay (von Bonde). 

Trulla microphthalmus (von B.). 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 24, pi. iv, 
fig. 3 {Areliscus m.). 

1925. Id., Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., vol. xii, pt. 4, p. 292. 

Similar to capensis but eyes smaller (8|-10 in length of head) 
and separated by an interorbital space equal to or a little less than 
vertical diameter of eye. D 110-117, A 86-95 ; 1.1. 89-95 : scales 
more strongly and numerously ctenoid on right side. 

Colour. — As in capensis, but the caudal light, more or less speckled 
with darker like the dorsal and anal fins. 

Locality. — Table Bay, East London, Port St. John's, Natal coast, 
and Delagoa Bay, 10-40 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Go\i;. Marine Survey. 



A Monograph of the Marine Fishes of South Africa. 417 

Although individual specimens of this form are easy to distinguish 
from typical capensis, I rather doubt whether it is a valid species. 
Examination of a number of specimens of all sizes shows that the 
differences are not nearly so well marked as in von Bonde's description 
(in which " eye 16 in head " is apparently a misprint for " 10 "). 
In capensis the scales on the right side are frequently semi-ctenoid, 
especially on the hinder part of the body. The differences are not 
sexual. 

Gen. Symphueus Eaf. 

1810. Eafinesque, Indice d' Itciol. Sicil., p 52. 

1858. Kaup, Wiegmann's Archiv. Natur., p. 106 [Aphoristia) . 

1906. Jordan and Starks, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., vol. xxxi, p. 242. 

Lips not fringed. Left ventral only present, free from anal. Scales 
ctenoid. No lateral line on either side. Eyes small, close together. 
Two nostrils on left side, the lower one tubular. Mouth subterminal. 

Key to the South African species. 

1. Head equal to depth of body ....... variegata. 

2. Depth greater than length of head. 

a. T> 110, A 99 strictus. 

6. D 97, A 82 . ocellatus. 

Symphurus variegatus (Gilch.). 

1903. Gilchrist, Mar. Invest. S. Afr., vol. ii, p. 211, pi. xviii. 

1918. Thompson, Mar. Biol. Rep., vol. iv, p. 128. 

Depth equal to head, 4f-5 in length of body. Eyes close together, 
without intervening scales, 7-8 in length of head. Posterior nostril 
in angle between eyes covered by a flap of skin arising from its anterior 
margin ; anterior nostril shortly tubular. Angle of mouth below 
anterior third of lower eye. D 93-100, the first 4-5 rays more or less 
free ; A 88-95 ; V 4. Scales ctenoid on both sides : 1.1. ca. 120-130. 

Length. — Up to 90 mm. 

Colour. — Light brown, with indistinct and irregular cross-bands. 

Locality. — Off East London, 300-450 fathoms. 

Type and one other specimen in South African Jluseum. 

^Symphurus strictus Gilb. 

1905. Gilbert, Bull. U.S. Fish. Comm., vol. xxiii, pt. 2, p. 691, 
fig. 272. 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Rep., i, p. 26. 

VOL. XXI, PAET 1. 27 



418 Annals of the South African Museum. 

Deptli 34, length of head 6, in length of body. Eyes close together, 
but with a single series of scales between them, 10 in length of head. 
Posterior nostril in angle of eyes with a flap of skin ; anterior nostril 
slit-like, opening under a vertical fold of skin. Angle of mouth below 
middle of lower eye. D 110, A 99. Scales ctenoid on both sides : 
1.1. ca. 130. 

Length. — Up to 140 mm. 

Colour. — Light brown, mottled, with indistinct dark narrow 
longitudinal lines ; fins dusky. 

Locality. — Off Delagoa Bay, 260 fathoms. 

Distribution. — Hawaiian Islands. 

^Symphurus ocellatus von B. 

1922. Von Bonde, Fish. Mar. Surv. Spec. Eep., i, p. 26, pi. i, fig. 2. 

Depth 3 1 (figure 34), length of head 5|- (figure 5^), in length of body. 
Eyes close together, but separated by a single row of scales, 5|. (figure 
8) in length of head. " Nostrils " (sic) in a slender tube midway 
between lower eye and lip of snout. Angle of mouth below middle 
of lower eye. D 97, A 82, V 5. Scales ctenoid on both sides : number 
of scales in a longitudinal series (?). 

Jjcngth. — Up to 105 mm. 

Colour. — Uniform brownish, with a black spot on posterior ends of 
dorsal and anal fins. 

Locality. — Natal coast, 260-350 fathoms. 

Type in coll. Govt. Marine Survey. 

The description and figure of this form are rather conflicting, and 
the structure of the nostrils (if correctly given) seems to conflict also 
with that in the other species of the genus. 

Division 17. DISCOCEPHALI. 

Air-bladder absent. No mesocoracoid. Body more or less elon- 
gate, head depressed. Skin with small cycloid scales. Anterior 
(spinous) portion of dorsal fin modified to form a sucking-disc, with 
transverse lamellae, on the top of the head. Soft dorsal and anal 
long, opposite one another at hind end of body. Pectorals inserted 
high up. Ventrals with 1 spine and 5 rays, more or less adnate to 
belly. Villiform teeth in jaws, on vomer, palatine, and usually on 
tongue. Lower jaw projecting beyond upper. Branchiostegals 7. 
Gills 4. Gill-rakers short. Gill-membranes free from isthmus. 
Pseudobranchiae obsolete. 



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